Missouri Citizens will vote this November on renewing the Parks, Soil, and Water sales tax. It’s been renewed by voters before in 1988, 1996 and 2006.
“This tax provides money for the parks and the soil and water department to help Missouri citizens to protect their water and soil resources as well as provide a park system to access for free.”
Tiffany Frey is the executive director of the James River Basin Partnership.
According to Frey, the tax costs Missouri residents $7 a year, or one-tenth of one percent. It was created through a constitutional amendment specifically to support efforts to stop soil erosion and provide funding for the state park system in 1984.
Frey says that for the James River Basin Partnership, “this tax is needed to help us address some of the very important water quality issues in our region.” Some of these issues include working with farmers and other agricultural workers to protect water from chemicals used in agriculture that could be drained into waterways or harm the soil.
Specifically, some of the tax money will go to support the Soil and Water Conservation District, which enables these programs to protect water and soil from over farming.
The James River Basin Partnership oversees almost one million acres of land throughout eight counties. According to Frey, “every county that we work in will be impacted by the tax, and also will have a huge impact by the lack of tax if it were not to pass.”
Frey says without the tax, “some of the major water quality program will disappear” and fees could be enforced at some of Missouri’s 88 national parks and historic sites.
The 2016 General Election will be held on Nov. 8, 2016.