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Cole County residents voting on library tax increase


Cole County residents are asked to vote on a proposed increase to property taxes that would go toward the library.

Missouri voters in certain counties can now go out to the polls for the August elections. Early voting started Tuesday for several counties and cities holding special elections. Election Day is Aug. 8.

In Mid-Missouri, Cole, Osage, Chariton, Maries, Miller, Gasconade, Phelps, Pulaski, and Camden counties all have something on the ballot this summer. The deadline for absentee ballots to be mailed to voters who requested is Wednesday.

There are 28 voting locations open in Cole County on election day, but only one for early voting.

"Absentee voting is done here in our office. It's only place you can do that between now and the day before the election. We will be open the Saturday before the election" said Cole County Clerk Steve Korsmeyer.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said voter turnout is typically very low for local elections.

"And by low I don't mean 50%. I don't mean 30%. I even mean 20% were  maybe going to be in the teens,  which means the vast majority of people will not participate. If you do, your vote means more," Ashcroft said. "Your vote is four times as valuable  because so few people vote."

In Cole County, voters are asked to decide whether to implement a $0.15 tax increase per $100 for the Jefferson City-Cole County library district. Missouri River Regional Library is seeking a renovation. MRRL says on its website that the library has not had an increase in its levy since 1964.

Natalie Newville, assistant director of market and development at Missouri River Regional Library, said despite the increase in property taxes, Cole County residents can get more out of the library with this proposed expansion.

The average Cole County homeowner would see a $70 increase in property taxes per year, that's based off a $210,000 assessed property value. You can see more on how to calculate your possible increase on the library's website.

"Basically what we are looking at is expanding our current building in Jefferson City, in our downtown at the corner of Adams and High Street," Newville said. "So go up a third floor  and then out towards Adams and High Street."

Russellville residents will also vote on a proposed tax increase and Wardsville residents will vote whether to implement a local sales tax on recreational marijuana.

Cole County sample ballot. [Courtesy of Cole County]

More information on voting locations and deadlines in Cole County can be found on the county clerk's website.

Article Topic Follows: Your Voice Your Vote

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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