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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The City of Springfield doesn’t expect citizens to take its word for it that tax dollars are spent appropriately. At tonight’s City Council meeting, the Citizens’ Sales Tax Oversight Committee (CSTOC) gave another "clean" report to City Council, indicating that the City is handling the various sales tax revenues appropriately. The committee also approved a resolution in support of the renewal of the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement and 1/8-cent Transportation sales taxes on the April 5 ballot. The nine-member committee, comprised of a cross-section of Springfield citizens, was formed in 2010 and meets quarterly to review and monitor that the revenues collected from each of Springfield’s four sales taxes are spent for the projects outlined in the election materials for each of the taxes. The committee’s original purpose was to provide oversight of the 3/4-cent Police-Fire Pension Sales Tax –ensuring that 100 percent of its revenues are deposited into the City's Police-Fire Pension Fund as promised. City Council later expanded CSTOC’s scope to include oversight of the 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax, the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax and the 5 percent Hotel/Motel Sales Tax. In addition, the committee may evaluate any proposed reduction or enhancement to pension benefits before presentation to City Council. “CSTOC members do an in-depth review of the project lists associated with each tax revenue stream, and discuss the status of those public projects with the Public Works department,” says City Finance Director Mary Mannix Decker. “This is definitely not a ‘rubber stamp’ committee … they get down to a very detailed level to close this gap for our citizens and make sure we’re transparent.” Examples of projects completed with the 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax include the widening of U.S. 65 to six lanes and the diverging diamond interchanges at James River Freeway and National and I-44 and Kansas Expressway. Projects funded with the 1/4-cent Capital Improvements Sales Tax include the school sidewalk program, bike route signage, center-city development projects and street maintenance. The 5 percent Hotel/Motel Sales Tax funds capital grants to Springfield not-for-profit organizations that promote tourism, recreation, education and local economy. “We do not choose what projects and how the money is going to be spent. Instead, we look at reports given to us by City staff on what money has come in and what projects they plan to fund. In doing so, we feel these sales taxes are being spent according to the language on the ballot,” said Bob Yeager, Citizens' Sales Tax Oversight Committee chair. “We’re pleased that this committee’s annual report represents and confirms that a good-faith effort in collecting, accounting and expenditures of these four taxes.” For more information about the Citizens’ Sales Tax Oversight Committee, visit springfieldmo.gov/boards/salestax or contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), [email protected]