Voters could decide to extend Springfield city sales taxes for programs already in place

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. If you live in Springfield, you could soon be asked to extend two additions to the city's sales tax.

Voters approved a 1/8 cent transportation tax six times. The money has covered the costs of repairing and improving aging streets, bridges and sidewalks.

The city wants to keep the tax and continue the work. They want voters to extend it again but this time for 20 years.

The tax will raising tens of millions for future transportation projects.

Another possible issue to be presented to voters is the extension of the 3/4 cent sales tax used to fund the city's fire and police pension fund.

Voters created the pension system back in 1946. Instead of setting it up as a contribution based benefit, it was set up as a guaranteed, retirement payout. In other words, every officer and firefighter, employed until November 2009, is eligible to collect.

The fund didn't have enough money to make good on the benefit promised so tax payers were asked to pitch in ten years ago.

The city is asking for help to fund this plan once again. A ballot measure could be a part of November's ballot asking voters to extend the tax for another five years or until the plan is fully funded.

Monday night was just the first reading of the two proposed bills for these questions to be on ballots late this year and early next year.

Council could vote in two weeks.

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