Voters in Springfield approved the continuation of two taxes and the votes weren’t close.
The 3/4 cent sales tax to pay for the police and fire pension system passed by a 7,527 to 2,147 margin.
The tax is paying into a closed system that is currently just over 80 percent funded. The current renewal is estimated to be able to fund the program to 100% before the end of the five year renewal. If the fund reaches 100% before the end of the five years, the tax will immediately sunset.
“It is with sincere appreciation that I say ‘Thank You’ for the continued support of the community for the fire and police departments, and your support for the continuation of the Police-Fire Pension Tax. Thank you, Springfield,” Springfield Fire Chief David Pennington said on social media.
Voters also approved a 20-year extension of the 1/8 cent sales tax for transportation projects by a 7,746 to 1,927 margin.
The city said the 20 year term would allow for better planning and execution of projects and give them future flexibility for other projects.
The city had proposed a list of improvements at the following locations:
- Campbell Avenue and Walnut Lawn intersection
- National Avenue and Division Street intersection
- Kansas Expressway and Walnut Lawn intersection
- Kansas Expressway and Sunset Street intersection
- National Avenue from Battlefield Road to Walnut Lawn
- Central Street phase 2 – Benton Avenue to Clay Avenue
“We are extremely grateful to the voters of Springfield for their continued strong expression of support,” Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said in a statement. “The extension of the sales tax for the police-fire pension fund continues to honor the commitment that the community has made to our law enforcement officers and firefighters. The 1/8-cent transportation sales tax, which has been renewed since 1996, will allow the City to continue to meet critical transportation needs in our community. On behalf of Springfield City Council, we extend our deepest thanks.”