Springfield voters decide Tuesday whether to continue two city sales tax plans estimated to generate a combined $50 million.
The ¼-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax and the 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax, which in past years have created revenue towards various infrastructure projects, are up for renewal.
Officials are hoping for renewal of each tax for the ninth and fifth times, respectively.
According to the city, the Capital Improvement Tax would bring in around $30 million to help repave roads, traffic flow improvements, school sidewalks and other initiatives. Kirk Juranas is the associate director of Springfield Public Works.
“We also do some center city development. Those are some of the streetscapes you see downtown. We put in turn lanes and safety improvements, some things like that.”
Juranas said that money raised from the ¼-cent Capital Improvement Tax will go towards finishing improvements along Primrose Avenue near Kickapoo High School. Future projects include widening Galloway Street between Luster and Lone Pine Avenue, add sidewalks and bike trails along Central Street between Campbell and Sherman, and improve intersection mobility at Battlefield Road and Fremont Avenue.
“And then there’s also some widening on Fremont itself, between Battlefield and Sunset,” said Juranas.
The ¼-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax was first approved by voters in 1989, and has been renewed eight times since then, according to the city. If renewed, that tax will run from 2016 until 2019.
The 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax Renewal is expected to generate $20 million in revenue. These funds will go towards projects such as intersection improvements, street and bridge widening and alternative transportation projects.
“We touched many of the railroad crossings these past few years with some of that transportation funding to where we were actually able to work with the railroad and MODOT to improve the railroad crossings.”
This sales tax was first approved by Springfield voters in 1996 and has been renewed every four years since then.
Juranas said the city has a 70 percent approval rating for both of these issues. He added that approval of these taxes will keep rates at their current levels, meaning no additional cost to taxpayers.
View a map of proposed construction, program and design projects to be implemented in 2016 if voters approve both measures on Tuesday.
The two Springfield items are among several questions and candidate races to appear on the ballot for Greene County, which can be viewed here. Find your polling place here. Polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm.