How the Parks and Stormwater Sales Tax will Benefit the Citizens of Lamar
The November ballot will present Lamar residents the opportunity to improve our local parks and stormwater processes, with the help of every person who makes a purchase within the City Limits, including persons traveling through who may stop to eat or buy items at our local retailers. Although the proposed tax rate is an extremely low ½ of one percent, with the aid of travelers, it is anticipated to generate over $300,000.
This tax is so slight, most people won’t even recognize they’re paying it. For example, when a purchase is made within the Lamar City Limits, with the proposed tax, a $10 purchase will increase by $0.05, or a purchase of $50 by $0.25. The proposed tax is similar to taxes over 200 other Missouri communities already have in place. Nevada, Carthage, Greenfield, Stockton, Joplin, Oronogo, Aurora and Carl Junction are just some of the cities in our area that have experienced the benefit of a Parks and Stormwater Sales Tax.
By law, a Parks and Stormwater Sales Tax can only be used for the operations, maintenance and improvements of parks and stormwater control. The traditional parks such as Lamar City Park, Wheeler Park, Lamar City Lake, and the Lamar Aquatic Park are included, but this tax would also include Moore Pavilion, Thiebaud Auditorium and the Lamar Youth Athletics Program. Lamar has been experiencing a declining revenue for many years and our facilities are aging. The facilities are requiring more care and maintenance, and these costs have risen greatly over the past few years. A Parks and Stormwater Tax would ensure these parks and facilities remain viable for use by our citizens.
Many people have approached City officials asking questions about the tax. Some of those questions and answers include:
• Will this money just be used to fix the pool? NO, the pool is already being repaired and should be fixed before this tax takes effect (April 2019).
• Why doesn’t the City apply for a grant? While grants are wonderful, they are allotted for specific projects and typically cannot be used for day-to-day operations such as a Parks and Stormwater Sales Tax can.
• Is there a time-limit (sunset) to this tax? No. The estimated income generated does not cover all the regular expenses. Since repairs, maintenance, upgrades and improvements will not cease, the tax will need to continue to assist with these expenses.
Lamar has a great reputation of having attractive parks and public facilities. The proposed Parks and Stormwater Tax will help us keep that reputation alive.
Persons with questions are encouraged to contact City Hall at 417-682-5554 or the Parks and Recreation Director at 417-682-5851. To watch a PowerPoint presentation about the proposed sales tax, please go to https://cityoflamar.org/2018/07/27/proposed-parks-storm-water-sales.