In April 2019, voters will be asked to decide whether or not to renew the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax.
In place since 1989, this tax has generated nearly $250 million to fund road, bridge, stormwater and sidewalk projects in Springfield. When possible, funding is leveraged with other partners, including county, state, federal governments and developers. The 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax is a sales tax continuation with no additional cost to taxpayers. A significant portion of the revenue generated comes from non-residents. Sales tax funds have been used to increase roadway capacity and improve safety on major roadways that serve the region. Projects are chosen so that each council zone will see improvements within the next five years.
The 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax is estimated to generate about $11 million per year in the first five years of the tax cycle to be invested in high-priority projects, such as major street resurfacing and rehabilitation, traffic flow improvements, school sidewalks, stormwater management and neighborhood initiatives. Renewed for the ninth time in 2016, the tax has passed with more than 70 percent in support the past four cycles. The tax most recently passed with 86 percent approval. Proposed projects for the first five years of the 2019 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax cycle were selected through a combination of public input, City department and partner agency assessed need, prior public/partner agency commitment and equitable geographic distribution.
Public input was sought through a citizen survey conducted online and in print Aug. 13- Sept. 7, 2018. Citizens were asked to identify their top three projects and offer input to help guide the level of investment in certain programs.
Out of 1,504 total responses collected, eight projects rose to the top, each earning at least 5 percent of the vote. Of these eight, seven were included in the final list of proposed projects. City/agency need is determined by City departments and partner agencies who assess other variables that may impact the project’s overall benefit to the community. Total crashes, traffic capacity, infrastructure condition, economic development potential and flooding within the project area were all factors considered. Six projects were identified as previous commitments made to voters or partner agencies. The final variable considered was the location of each proposed improvement. Projects are chosen so that each council zone will see improvements within the next five years.
Extending the term cycle
In October, Springfield City Council evaluated the possibility of a longer-term cycle option for the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax. They indicated support for maintaining a sunset of the tax but extending it to 20 years. A longer term would change the way the City is able to use the tax funds:
• The City currently splits up project phases (e.g., design and construction). The City cannot fully commit to completing all phases of a project during a three-year cycle but could commit to see a project through all phases during a longer cycle.
• The City would have the flexibility to respond to unknown future needs, such as those related to a job growth project or critical infrastructure needs.
• The City could utilize bonding to accelerate certain projects and/or to address larger scale projects that might not otherwise be feasible because they would require too large of an amount of “pay-as-you-go” money. Public input and project prioritization processes will continue to be conducted on a regular basis to collect feedback to be used in the selection of future projects and programs over the 20-year term. The City’s six-year capital improvement project planning and Citizen Tax Oversight Committee processes will also continue to guide accountability.
For more information about the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax and a list of projects that have been completed with 1/4-cent funds approved in 2016, visit springfieldmo.gov/election.
- Galloway Street widening (Luster Avenue to Lone Pine Avenue)
- Division Street reconstruction (National Avenue to Glenstone Avenue)
- West Bypass and Kearney Street intersection improvements
- Division Street sidewalk (West Avenue to Kansas Expressway)
- Battlefield Road and Lone Pine Avenue intersection improvements
- National Avenue and Sunset Street intersection improvements
- Scenic Avenue over Wilson’s Creek bridge replacement
- Walnut Street over Jordan Creek bridge replacement.
- Kansas Avenue Widening (Maplewood Street to Walnut Lawn Street)
- Fremont Avenue Widening (Erie Street to Independence Street)
- Campbell Avenue Widening (Republic Road to Westview Street)
City-wide improvement programs
- Sidewalk/curb and gutter construction
- School sidewalk program
- Neighborhood initiative program
- Cost-share/economic development projects
- Metro/safety signs and markings
- Traffic signal/traffic calming program
- Major street resurfacing/rehabilitation
- Minor neighborhood improvements
- Center city development
- Reforestation and landscaping improvements
- Stormwater improvements and flood control.
Proposed program areas of focus
- National Ave./Battlefield Rd./Sunshine St. Major Street Resurfacing
- National Ave. and Commercial St. Traffic Signal Improvements
- Jefferson Ave. Streetscape (Walnut St. to St. Louis St.)
- Rountree Stormwater Improvement Project
- Stormwater Improvements:
- Grant Ave. from Norton St. to Woodridge St.
- Berkeley St. & Westwood Ave. to Seminole St. & Nettleton Ave.
- Hampton Ave. from Seminole St. to McGee St.
- Loren St. & Karla Ave. to Bennett St. & Meadowview Ave.
- Area around Lone Pine Ave. & Catalpa St.)