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Joplin’s Capital Improvement Tax Renewal Vote Could Be Moved Up From August to April 2024

If approved, it would be the second time Joplin residents have re-authorized the Capital Improvement Projects tax after it was first approved in 2004, going into effect the following year. Recent tax increases have been a mixed bag. Proposition Public Safety in August of 2022 and the Memorial Bond in April of the same year failed.

The renewal of an important tax that funds millions of dollars worth of projects could come earlier than expected in Joplin.

KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

In past years the 3/8 cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax has brought in between 4.6 and 4.8 million dollars annually, or roughly 48 million dollars over the ten years.

The tax was first approved by Joplin residents in 2004, going into effect on January 1 of the following year.

Voters reapproved the same 3/8 tax for multi-million dollar public works projects again in 2013, the tax is set to expire at the end of next year.

The possible renewal of the tax was front and center at Tuesday night's Joplin City Council meeting as City Manager Nick Edwards presented the council with a tax renewal proposal.

Replying to a concern from Council Member Christina Williams, Edwards addressed the difference between having the renewal question on next April’s ballot, rather than in August of 2024.

“I think there’s plenty of reasons to do it in April. One of the other key things in April is, should it not go forward in April it would give us another opportunity to maybe retry in August.

If we got past August it would no longer be considered a renewal because the tax would have stopped collecting.”

No decision was made Tuesday on whether the tax renewal vote would take place in April or August or next year.

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.