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No. This is not a new tax. This is a renewal of the ¼-cent sales tax that Joplin citizens passed in 2001 and renewed in 2011. Revenues from the tax have been and will continue to be used to complete parks projects and make stormwater projects in Joplin.
No. As a renewal, this ballot question asks voters if they’d be willing to continue this ¼-cent sales tax for an additional 10-year period to make improvements to both the stormwater system and the overall parks system.
Park and Recreation projects funded through the proposed sales tax include a new splash park with an ice ribbon, trails, park beautification improvements, and amenities to many of the parks along with a biking recreation area located near Dover Hill. A listing with a map of the Parks projects is also available.
Stormwater projects were identified through the Master Plan and by citizens sharing their areas of concern. A listing with a map of the Stormwater projects shows areas to be addressed with this proposed funding.
Funds from the 2011 renewal provided funding to revitalize Schifferdecker Pool to an aquatic center that provides pool activities for all ages and skill levels. Several of Joplin Parks also received upgrades and improvements including the Landreth Park playground that now offers more accessible features along with shade partitions and the Skate Park at Ewert Park.
In addition, City roadways are much more manageable during large rainfall incidents because of the stormwater projects completed with these revenues. The largest stormwater project focused on open and closed channels in the area of 7th Street and Illinois Avenue where Joplin Creek flows flowing under 7th Street and continuing through Ewert Park. Stormwater capacity for Joplin Creek and Iowa Branch was expanded to prevent future flooding in the area. This included inlets, sidewalks, and new larger pipes for better management.
Other stormwater management projects were completed near Turkey Creek at Florida Avenue and Newman Road, along with work to alleviate issues in several neighboring areas, including B Street & Porter Avenue and 31st and Pennsylvania Avenue. Both neighborhoods had limited drainage capacity which created an unsafe situation for drivers going through ponding water in the streets.
In total, the City of Joplin will complete $33.6 million worth of projects from the 2011 sales tax.
The 2011 renewal was for a ten-year period, which expires on March 31, 2022.
Stormwater management is an ongoing project of any city, and Joplin is no different. The past projects focused on culverts and pipe improvements in large creeks and streams throughout the City. The next round of projects will build on the work already completed. It will address stormwater issues in identified neighborhoods such as the Sunnyvale area, as well as initiate the beginning phase of work near I-44. Several stormwater projects will focus on areas out of the main channels and into the neighborhoods. Open and closed portions of the system will be included and regional detention work to reduce flooding possibilities in areas downstream of the detention ponds.
For the Parks portion, areas for new emerging recreational activities along with improving aging facilities are included in the project lists. The Dover Outdoor Recreation and Bike Park will offer several bicycle-related amenities such as a BMX style pump track, a children’s bike playground, and 5 to 7 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, while the bike/pedestrian trail system will also expand with the second phase of the Tin Cup Trail. Maintenance to neighborhood parks along with upgrades and replacements to park amenities will be completed, including new additions to Ewert Park. Ewert Pool will be converted to a large splash park for warm-weather fun, along with a surrounding ice ribbon to offer ice skating in colder months. Through surveys and public meetings, new activities were listed as important to our citizens, and this renewal effort provides a wide variety of projects.
The City of Joplin is located within Jasper County and Newton County.
Jasper County’s total sales tax rate is 8.525%. Newton County’s total sales tax rate is 8.925%. The City receives 3.125% of the sales tax, with the remainder going to the County and State.
The City receives 3.125 % of the current sales tax, with the remainder going to the County and State.
Approximately $41 million will be collected by this renewal over the ten-year period.
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.
This renewal will be for ten years, and the tax will end on March 31, 2032.
The City established a Citizens Task Force in January 2021 to address the future needs of our Parks and Stormwater systems. The group’s goals were to:
The Parks and Stormwater Task Force began meeting on March 2, 2021, and met numerous times throughout March and April. During these meetings, staff presented information regarding parks projects; stormwater issues and maintenance; City revenues and expenditures relating to parks and stormwater needs; public comments and survey results about the current City’s parks and ideas for the future; and the stormwater management progress made in the past ten years.
In conclusion, the Citizens Parks and Stormwater Task Force recommended a renewal of the ¼-cent sales tax for Parks and Stormwater Improvements Sales Tax for a ten-year period be placed before the voters for consideration. The ratio of the sales tax will be 55% dedicated to Parks and Recreation and 45% committed to the Stormwater program.
On May 17, 2021, the Joplin City Council voted to proceed with the Task Forces’ recommendations and submit a ballot question to the electors of the City of Joplin at an Election to be held in the City on August 3, 2021.
The City staff reports to a Citizens Oversight Committee that meets quarterly and reviews both the revenues and expenditures of this tax, noting the progress of the projects.
During the initial election in 2001, the Joplin City Council authorized this committee’s creation to ensure transparency to our citizens. The Committee publicly reports the status of the sales tax revenues and progress on the Parks and Stormwater projects on a semi-annual basis.
This item is identified as Proposition Renewal on the August 3, 2021, ballot. State statutes determine how the ballot language will be worded. The language is:
“Shall the City of Joplin, Missouri, extend a sales tax of one-quarter (1/4) of one percent (1%) for a period of ten (10) years for the purpose of providing funding for stormwater control and local parks for the City?”