Columbia Chamber of Commerce releases stance on November ballot issues

Friday, October 15, 2010 | 6:21 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Chamber of Commerce came out in adamant opposition Friday to a citywide ban on Tasers.

The chamber also endorsed an extension to the existing city parks sales tax and Amendment 3, which would prohibit transfer taxes on real estate transactions.

The Taser ban has been a hotly debated subject, but the chamber believes that the use of Tasers by police officers will ultimately create a safer environment for the people of Columbia.

“Public safety has to remain a priority for our community,” said Paul Land, chairman of the executive committee for Chamber of Commerce, according to the press release.

The chamber said it supports Amendment 3, which would amend the Missouri Constitution to prevent double taxation on homes and other properties, on the grounds that it would allow "Missouri to keep its competitive advantage for business recruitment."

Don Laird, Chamber of Commerce president, said he thinks Columbians should not be forced to pay double taxes.

“Columbia citizens and Missourians already pay property taxes, approval and passage of Amendment 3 allows Missouri to keep its competitive advantage for business recruitment because all of our surrounding states have a transfer tax in place,” Laird said.

The chamber also said it supports extending a sales tax for the City Parks and Recreation Department. In 2000, voters approved the two one-eighth-cent sales taxes, one permanent and the other needing reapproval every five years, including this year.

“We must continue to fund parks and recreation at least at the current level to keep people wanting to live and visit here,” Land said.

All three issues will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot. 

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