Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Friday, July 28, 2006

Parks and soil tax on Aug. 8 ballot

Dear Editor:

Few issues today actually work to bring people together, rather than drive them apart. But when you have farmers and environmentalists, rural residents and city dwellers, bikers and birdwatchers all working together, you know you've found an issue vital to all Missourians.

That's Amendment 1, the renewal of the parks-and-soil sales tax. On Aug. 8, we have the opportunity to reauthorize this one-tenth-of-a-cent statewide sales tax at the polls. Since 1984, this efficient, effective tax has been providing the primary funding for our Missouri state parks and state soil conservation programs.

It's easy to see why Amendment 1 has earned such broad, strong support statewide. For the past two decades, these funds have been put to work as promised, with visible results in every one of our parks and throughout our farmland. In addition, this funding measure has built-in taxpayer accountability through a sunset provision that requires that the tax come before voters for renewal every 10 years.

Together, as the former president of the Missouri Farm Bureau and as the current mayor of Columbia, we are proud to serve as co-chairs of the grassroots committee working for the renewal of Amendment 1. We represent the full spectrum of Missourians, rural and municipal, who directly benefit from this statewide sales tax through decreased soil erosion, cleaner water and well-maintained state parks.

Without Amendment 1, state funding of these important programs would be lost. Please renew our parks-and-soil sales tax Aug. 8 by joining us in voting yes on Amendment 1.

Don Fischer

Darwin Hindman

Co-chairs, Citizens' Committee for Soil, Water and State Parks