Boonville tax increase would benefit Kemper campus

City seeks 7/8-cent increase

Proposed sales tax increase in Boonville

BOONVILLE, Mo. - Boonville residents will vote on a temporary sales tax increase of nearly 1 percent on Tuesday. 

The city is asking voters to approve a five-year, 7/8-cent sales tax increase to make capital improvements to the Kemper School Campus, a historic landmark. 

The money would be used to provide more youth and adult programs through the Boonslick Heartland YMCA at the Johnston Field House and Academic Hall, as well as expanded handicapped accessible parking for the entire campus. 

The tax increase would also allow for more child care facilities at the YMCA, according to CEO of the Boonslick Heartland YMCA, Matt Schneringer.

"If we want to continue to offer child care service which is licensed by the state of Missouri, we have to maintain a certain standards," Schneringer said, "And those standards are getting to be tougher to maintain with our current condition of the facility."

The Kemper School Campus was shut down in 2002 due to lack of money, but city leader had been working to revitalize the area since then.

Several business owners in downtown Boonville support the tax, including owner of Family Shoe Store, Ed Scrivner.

"Some people will probably complain because it an extra nine cents sometimes on some amount," Scrivner said. "But wherever you go you are going to have to pay sales tax."

Some business owners disagree with the tax, but preferred to remain anonymous. The argument was that raising sales tax in Boonville will drive away shoppers from the areas. They believe the sales tax in the area is already high.

Shoppers in Boonville currently pay 8.225 percent sales tax, though in two special districts the sales tax is 9.225 percent. For comparison, Columbia's sales tax is 7.975 percent, and Jefferson City's is 7.725 percent.

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