Doesn’t the City have enough dollars to complete these projects without using a Parks and Stormwater tax?

Typically, cities pay for park amenities through a property tax and stormwater improvements through a dedicated sales tax. In our case, the City of Joplin has maintained a low property tax rate for our citizens, and therefore no other revenue source exists to provide funding for these types of projects and improvements. 

As other cities go through tough economic times, Joplin has remained relatively stable. Although not immune to the financial declines, the City of Joplin recognizes the needs of our citizens and works to deliver these services in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner.

During the past ten years, the City will complete over $33.6 million worth of projects in the areas of stormwater management and the parks system with the revenues from this ¼-cent sales tax. Schifferdecker Aquatic Park was built with these funds and now welcomes thousands during the summer months. Stormwater projects focused on areas in central Joplin where major creeks and tributaries run, and several creeks connect which experienced frequent flooding. Most recently the City completed stormwater improvements near 7th Street and Illinois Avenue and within Ewert Park.

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1. Is this a new tax?
2. If passed, will this ballot issue increase the sales tax for Joplin?
3. What projects would be completed if the renewal of the sales tax passes?
4. What projects were completed with the revenues from the 2011 Parks and Stormwater sales tax?
5. Why are we voting on it now?
6. Why do we need a renewal if the City has had funding in past years to make improvements to Parks and Stormwater?
7. What is the current sales tax rate in Joplin?
8. How are the sales taxes spent by the City?
9. How much of the sales tax does the City of Joplin receive?
10. How much money will be raised if this issue passes?
11. Doesn’t the City have enough dollars to complete these projects without using a Parks and Stormwater tax?
12. If voters approve this, how long will this renewal last?
13. How did the City determine which projects to fund with this sales tax?
14. How will the public know these funds are being spent on the stated projects?
15. What is the Ballot Language for this sales tax renewal?