Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Here's An Idea ---

Wes Johnson, of the SN-L, files this report:

A Springfield citizens group will ask the new city council to let the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) sales tax sunset in February, and instead use the quarter-cent tax for the ailing police/fire pension fund.

The Save Our Springfield coalition proposed leaving the tax in place for five years, which would generate about $50 million for the pension fund.

Projects that would have been funded by the CIP tax likely would have to be put on hold.

The plan was detailed by Missouri State University political science professor Darren Chappell and former state representative Mark Wright.

“I realize the citizens of Springfield have supported the CIP for the last 10 years,” Chappell said during a morning news conference.

“But when the economic situation changes our priorities have to change as well. We hope the citizens of Springfield will encourage their elected representatives to take this seriously.”

The plan evolved after Springfield voters narrowly rejected a one-cent sales tax on Feb. 3 that would have gone solely into the pension fund.

Chappell said a quarter cent sales tax would generate enough money to meet the state requirement that the police/fire pension plan be funded at 60 percent or higher.

The pension fund currently is at about a 33 percent funded level.

After learning of the plan, City Manager Greg Burris said the proposal likely would be one that the new pension fund task force would review.

The city is about to begin taking applications from people who want to serve on the task force, which will look at various ways to bring the fund into financial health.

“As we form the citizens committee to look at options, this could be one of them to consider,” Burris said.

The task force likely will meet for several months before making a recommendation to city council.

1 comment:

Horse-farmer said...

Committees, ah yes Committees,,,,

Saving minutes and wasting hours

Committees, ah send it to a
Committee and see it forever lost in quagmire.