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Politics

Impact and Results of Local Ballot Propositions

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The city of West Plains voted a fourth time August 2 to continue a transportation sales tax of one-half of one percent. The 14-year-old tax, to construct, repair and maintain roadways and walkways, was set to expire in September of 2017, but will now continue with no sunset.

Mallory Hawkins, city clerk of West Plains, said the tax is set to bring in over $1.3 million dollars to the city next year.

“We decided this time to go without a sunset, mainly so we can plan into the future,” Hawkins said. “We have all kinds of projects lined up, but this really helps us plan five, ten years or 20 years down the road.”

She said one of the main reasons for the overwhelming support of the tax is due to the progress it has already made. In the past few years, West Plains has resurfaced nearly 75 percent of streets inside city limits, which equates to about 93 miles worth of roadway.

“We’ve been able to do new bridges, storm water projects, we’ve added 13 different storm drains, replaced three bridges and constructed several new roads in town,” she said.

Howell County wasn’t the only county with propositions on the ballot for the Aug. 2 election.

In Greene County, the city of Ash Grove voted over 63 percent yes for a one-half of one percent transportation sales tax for the next ten years. The tax is designed to provide maintenance and operation of city streets.

But, there were more than just transportation taxes on local ballots.

In Jasper County, Joplin residents voted to continue the application and collection of sales tax from property purchased outside the state of Missouri. Lately, the topic of out-of-state taxing has been a hot issue for the city of Joplin, which is located just miles from the border of both Kansas and Oklahoma.

The Lawrence County ballot had a similar proposition for the city of Monett. Local residents voted yes to continue applying and collecting local sales tax on the titling of motor vehicles, trailers, boats and outboard motors that were purchased from a source other than a licensed Missouri dealer.