Cole County implemented a half-cent sales tax in 1986 in order to fund its many infrastructure needs.
Bridge and road repair projects take 85 percent of the revenue generated, and the other 15 percent goes toward upkeep of nine county-maintained buildings.
The sales tax has a 5-year “sunset” provision, meaning it must be re-approved after that time.
So far, the tax have been approved six times, and this April, county officials want it to be seven.
“To lose an important funding source to improve and maintain those roads would be unthinkable,” said county engineer Eric Landwehr.”The cost of preserving our roads is going up. It’s not going down. We do very well with what we have and try to be the best stewards of the taxpayer’s money that we can.”
But a former Cole County business owner says there’s enough money in the county’s budget for the needed maintenance.
“It can be done much much cheaper if the commission would manage their finances much better. It’s our tax dollars,” said retired taxpayer Ed Williams.
Residents can find out more information about the half-cent sales tax by visiting the advocacy websiteImprove Cole County.
They can also read what opponents to the tax measure have to say atVote NO on Sales Tax.
Proposition A will be on the April 5 ballot in Cole County.