HBA Board Endorses Renewal of Springfield’s 1/4 Cent CIP

At its May meeting, the HBA Board of Directors endorsed renewal of the City of Springfield’s 1/4 cent Capital Improvements Program which will be on the ballot for approval on June 8, 2010.

Approval by voters would continue the program that first began in 1989 to fund priority infrastructure projects in the city. This proposal places an emphasis on the top two priorities for city services as determined in the 2008 Citizen Survey:

“Overall City Services that should receive the most emphasis over the next two years”
• Flow of Traffic in the City – 59 percent
• Maintenance of city streets/infrastructure – 55 percent

The 2010-13 program again reflects a commitment to taking care of existing infrastructure during a period of diminished revenues for other areas of the City’s transportation budget. This includes major street maintenance and sidewalk repair and rehabilitation.

Maintaining the current infrastructure and positioning the city for additional growth are key economic-development strategies especially important to the health of residential construction. Springfield’s ability to attract new businesses or create business expansion is dependent in part on a commitment to take care of the public infrastructure. Transportation networks require years of advance planning and this program will continue essential funding to allow Springfield to take care of its current system while addressing future infrastructure investments necessary for economic development opportunities.

The other key benefit to business and economic development is the program’s impact on jobs, supplies and services in our community. In the past, many of these projects have been awarded to local and area consultants for design and contractors for construction. Bids for construction materials such as concrete, asphalt, and aggregate have been almost exclusively awarded to local companies. The capital improvements program has helped cushion Springfield from more severe effects of the national recession and would continue to produce positive results toward our economic recovery. The program obviously has a significant effect on job creation and retention in our area, particularly for the construction industry.

Even with this renewal, the City’s combined sales tax rate for transportation-related uses will remain the lowest in the region at 0.375 percent, which combines the quarter-cent program and the eighth-cent sales tax for transportation used to partner with the Missouri Department of Transportation on major projects.

• Marshfield: 1.0 percent
• Republic: 1.0 percent
• Rogersville:1.0 percent
• Joplin: 0.875 percent
• Ozark/Nixa/Strafford/Willard: 0.5 percent
• Springfield: 0.375 percent

This would be a continuation of a 21-year program, so there is no additional cost to business. Overall, Springfield’s sales-tax rate remains competitive as shown above. The program represents 25 cents on $100 in taxable sales. It is estimated that about 50 percent of city sales tax is paid by non-residents. One of the reasons for funding capital improvements through sales tax is that non-residents who make purchases in Springfield help pay for the roads, sidewalks, signage, and other improvements enjoyed by all users of the transportation system.