1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax Renewal Proposal
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.
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% in support the past four cycles. The tax most recently passed with 86% approval.
The proposed project list was created using the following criteria:
• Increased safety for all users
• Support of economic development
• Protection and enhancement of the environment and quality of life
• Intermodal connectivity
• Condition of the infrastructure
• Opportunity for public and private partnerships
• Efficiency & effectiveness of the system.
History1/4-cent Capital Improvements Program
Resources:View a summary of 2018 public input survey findings
View project selection matrix
View proposed project map and descriptions
View the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax Education Presentation
Mediacom Newsleaders segment with Public Works Director Dan Smith - 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax Renewal
How were the proposed projects selected?
Proposed projects for the first five years of the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales tax 2019 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 five percent of the vote. Of these eight, seven were included in the final list of proposed projects.
In addition, citizen survey responses suggested that the City’s current efforts to build and maintain roadways and other infrastructure are appreciated but could use more investment.
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 2018, Springfield City Council evaluated the possibility of a longer-term cycle option for the ¼-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 also does 6-year Capital Improvement project planning which has a citizen input component. That, and a Citizen Tax Oversight Committee process will continue to guide accountability.
About the 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax
The current 1/4-cent capital improvement sales tax, renewed by Springfield voters for the ninth time in 2016, is estimated to generate approximately $30 million, which is being invested in projects such as intersection improvements, school sidewalks and traffic signals.
When possible, funding is leveraged with other partners including county, state, federal, and developer funding to increase the investment return to the citizens of Springfield.
In April 2019, Springfield voters will be asked to approve the renewal (with no tax increase) which funds capital improvement and transportation improvement projects in Springfield. The 1/4-cent capital improvement projects sales tax currently has a three-year sunset, was first approved in 1989 and was renewed in 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016.
Projects that have been completed with 1/4-cent funds include:
- Republic Road Widening Phase III
- Campbell Avenue and Primrose Street Intersection Improvements
- Commercial Street Streetscape including roundabout at Commercial Street and Washington Avenue
- Grant Avenue and Route 66 Streetscape
- National Avenue and Bennett Street Traffic Signal Improvements
- James River Freeway and Campbell Avenue Intersection Improvements
- Mount Vernon Street Widening (Orchard Crest to Suburban)
- College Street Route 66 Streetscape
- Extension of Packer Road north of Kearney Street
- Jefferson Avenue Streetscape Phases I & II
- Phelps Street Streetscape
- Main Avenue Streetscape
- Cost-share projects for economic development working with MoDOT, Greene County and private developers