COLUMBIA — Proposition 1, or the parks sales tax, is up for renewal in November.
The renewable one-eighth-cent sales tax is voted on every five years, and it is one half of a quarter-cent tax dedicated to Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department. Although the wording of the proposition includes "shall ... impose," voting yes will not create a new tax; it would be the continuation of an existing one.
The other half of the quarter-cent tax is permanent and goes toward the department's operating budget and paying off land-acquisition debt.
If approved, the tax will bring in approximately $12 million over the next five years. This money is primarily used for capital improvement projects in Columbia's park system. About $2 million will go to land acquisition and preservation. Other earmarks for the money are $4.7 million to improving existing parks, $2 million to trails and greenbelts and $2.5 million to the development of new facilities and parks. In addition, there is about $600,000 planned for contingency. A comprehensive list of projects can be found at the city of Columbia website.
If the proposition is not approved, the sales tax will drop one-eighth of one cent. That means Columbia residents would not have to spend one penny in sales tax for every $8 they spend.
Do you support Proposition 1?