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Community Matters, Law 

3/4 Cent Sales Tax on the November 3 Ballot

"Shall the City of Springfield impose a sales tax at a rate of three-quarter of one percent (3/4 cent) solely for the purpose of providing revenues for the Springfield Police Officers' and Firefighters' Pension System, with said tax to sunset upon the Pension System fund reaching a fully-funded (100%) status as determined by an independent actuarial study conducted for the Pension System Board of Trustees?"

This is the question Springfield voters will see on the ballot November 3. (View the sample ballot [pdf].)  Although not mentioned in the ballot language, a state statute requires the city to give voters the option to repeal or continue the tax every five years.

You can read the full text of Council Resolution 2009-207 which calls for the election and Council Bill 2009-235 which outlines the City's other commitments to the Pension Fund if the tax passes.  More election information including video of the City Council debate can be found at the City's website.

The proposed sales tax was recommended by the Police-Fire Pension Fund Citizen's Task Force which was created after voters rejected a 1 cent sales tax for the same purpose last February.  The Task Force's Final Report to Council recommended several actions with options.  Some of the recommendations were:

  • Propose a sales tax of either 5/8 cent or 3/4 cent
  • Reorganize the Pension Board with either 11 or 7 members
  • Enroll new employees in the statewide LAGERS retirement plan or an alternate plan
  • Place all settlement funds from the telecommunication lawsuit into the Pension Fund
  • Sell any unused City property (when possible and practical) and invest the proceeds in the Fund
  • Increase the amount employees contribute to the Fund
  • The City should contribute 35% of the Police-Fire payroll to the Fund

 More information and opinion about the Pension Fund is available from local news media:

 

 


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