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I'm not going to tell anybody how to vote, this is just FYI. Proposition A is on the ballot, it's a 1/2 cent park tax. Info is here:
City fact sheet is here:
Proposition A has a lot of opponents. The majority of the opponents are angry because the Centre sales tax (the tax that is set to sunset) included a promise that the Centre would recover 100% of it's costs by now. That was stupid on the part of the people who wrote that, I worked in community centers for a dozen years and none of them recovered 100%. The Centre recovers around 90%, which is actually very good for a community center. The bad wording on the original sales tax allows people to make it sound like a red-ink bleeding monstrosity when it actually is quite efficient. This new sales tax is being represented as a bail-out of a failed recreation center, which shouldn't be the issue.
Bottom line as far as disc golf is concerned is any projects (tees, tee signs, new baskets, etc.) for the Ber Juan Disc Golf course is dependent on this passing. If Prop A fails, the course is going to sit as-is for the foreseeable future. If Prop A fails any money that could have been spent on park improvements will go to cover the 10% the Centre operates in the red.
But, it's a tax. Nobody likes taxes. Either you accept that they are necessary or you don't. Even If you accept that they are necessary, I can't tell you if you think this tax is necessary. All I can do is let you know it is on the ballot and encourage you to look into it and vote according to what you decide.
It was already voted on and was supposed to sunset. The sunset clause likely persuaded some to vote in favor back then. Now they want to disregard what was
already voted on
which I don't like. I was never in favor of a subsidized Centre in the first place, 100% recapture? Never happened, here comes the tax. This is all really for more police and fire which I think we already have plenty of budget allocated. For gosh sakes the fire department purchased the automatic retracting step accessory to get into the new truck...they climb ladders for a living.
It would have been much cleaner just to come forward with a NEW tax proposal which is what this is, a NEW tax.
Its very easy for those interested in disc golf to raise money for pads or baskets thru say fund raising tournaments. 1$ raised goes to 1$ of disc support, much more effective than running through the cities rake.
Not to debate, but the City budget for parks has not changed. Parks don't make money and cost money to maintain. The cost of gas to mow the grass goes up. The cost of providing health insurance for the guy who runs the lawn mower goes up. If the budget doesn't change, either you have to charge fees to cover your costs or get more tax revenue from the community to support community services. I kinda like parks and don't mind extending the sales tax to provide revenue to support them.
Of course I'm using the parks. A lot of people think that if we want disc golf and want the grass mowed on our course we should be willing to pay $50 in league fees as opposed to the $15 we pay now so that our use will cover the expense. Of course none of us is going to pay $50 to play in a disc golf league, so the reality would be no Ber Juan league and some tall grass on that course.
Police and fire drive city spending. That's not just Rolla, that is everywhere. It's big business. Every budget year all the police and fire departments have some new high-tech gizmo that does something super-important for public safety and is going to cost beaucoup cash, and they will get it because no one wants to vote against public safety. When the budgets are tight, the money gets stripped from other departments like Parks that are not so essential. Voting no on Prop A isn't going to change that.
So if this passes, will the league fee be reduced to zero since we (and everyone else) will be paying through additional sales tax?
By the way, after you make your last car/house/loan/whatever payment, go ahead and start sending the checks to me; since you are used to making the payments having already been making them, it won't cost you a thing, I promise. I'll spend every dime locally so it will go through the local sales tax to support the community whereas before it went to some bank/finance company. So it wont cost you a thing, and the community benefits....its a win-win.
At the risk of stepping into this hornet's nest, I am going to play devil's advocate on both sides. I have 2 main problems with this particular issue. First, when the Centre was started, a savings fund was created with the sole purpose of helping support the Centre when this tax ended in 2011. The savings account currently sits at around 2.4 million dollars and at the most recent city council meeting, it was stated that the money saved is now going to be used for other things although they would never specify what other things it would go towards. My second issue is that there is no plan of attack with this money. They say that it is going towards the Centre, and Parks and Rec, as well as a Senior Center, but there is no true plan showing how the monies are going to be allocated. I refuse to write a blank check to the city, forever, without having any more info than that.
On the other hand, Chainring, your statement about "this is really all for more police and fire" is completely unfounded. There is nothing to base that statement off of. As far as your other statement: "Its very easy for those interested in disc golf to raise money for pads or baskets thru say fund raising tournaments. 1$ raised goes to 1$ of disc support, much more effective than running through the cities rake." You also have nothing with which to base this statement as to my knowledge, you have never been involved in fund raising for DG. People aren't chomping at the bit to give disc golfers money for baskets and tee pads. The strong majority of this community still doesn't even know what DG is. By the way, tournaments are never dollar for dollar---even if it is a fund raiser (ie-Ice Bowl) there is still a significant amount of money that goes into making the tourney go. Our Ice Bowl raised just over $500 towards our charity after expenses and a small amount that was recouped for the club. By all accounts, the tourney was a huge hit with a much-larger-than-expected turnout. At that rate, we can buy 1 and a half baskets per uber-successful tourney. Seems like a great way to attack things....(or not).
I don't see where I would get any benefit from sending you money, Chainring. If you don't see any benefit from improved parks, don't vote for it. Parks do rate very high on the list of things people look at when moving, and things like the Centre and the services it provides rate highly in things businesses look at when selecting a community to locate in, but that's hard to quantify in results in Rolla's case.
There is the weird "Senior Center" part of this plan, which to me is an obvious throw in to try to make the proposal attractive to senior voters. It's not very clear and not well thought out, and it was added after the public meeting that were held in the Fall. From my understanding it was dictated from the top i.e. somebody in City Hall. Evidently a special interest group of seniors got to the City leadership and made them blink.
Up until the Senior Center got tossed into the mix, the parks department had a pretty clear plan of what it was going to do with the revenue. At least it was clear to me, but I used to do that for a living so maybe it was just easy for me to understand. Now with a huge chunk of the revenue going to the Senior Center, clearly the plans for the park system have to be slashed. Because of that, none of the plan is very clear any more.
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