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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield City Council’s Finance & Administration Committee met Wednesday to discuss a possible continuation of the City’s level property tax levy (LPT) to pay for unfunded capital improvement needs. The continuation would not be a tax increase, and bringing the issue back to voters would clarify authorized uses of the level tax, which has been in place since 1995. A future committee meeting will look at identified needs for the funding.
Currently, Springfield residents pay a 27-cent property tax (per $100 of assessed value), which generates about $8 million per year. Renewed by voters in 1999, 2001 and 2004, the LPT has funded large-scale capital projects, such as police and fire station construction, public safety apparatus, stormwater improvement projects and emergency storm warning systems. All of the projects have been completed as promised with no increase in the tax rate.
Public safety would again be a priority for any future use of the ongoing tax, and the City has a long list of identified needs that it currently does not have a funding source for.
LPT primarily funds projects via issuance of debt, with bonds issued and paid off over multiple years. As debt gets paid down and projects are completed, more “headroom” is available to address urgent needs. The current tax will sunset when the last bond payments, which is presently expected to occur in 2031.
The committee will reconvene in a few weeks to review the identified needs and potential costs of funding those needs.
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Springfield City Council has four identified priorities: Public Safety, Fiscal Sustainability, Economic Vitality and Legislative Engagement. The use of a level property tax for additional identified funding needs falls under the priorities of both fiscal sustainability and public safety.
For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected]