The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is backing two of Mayor Mike Houston’s infrastructure funding proposals that would increase the city sales tax by one half of one percent and hike sewer fees incrementally over the next ten years
In a news release Friday, the Chamber’s Board of Directors say they do not take a position in support of a tax and fee increase lightly, and only do so when they’re expected to be used in a manner “consistent with the long-term health and vitality of our community.”
- CLICK HERE for details on Mayor Houston’s infrastructure funding proposals
The Chamber believes that a well-funded infrastructure plan will not only “provide public safety and health, but also enhance the quality of life in Springfield”.
From the Chamber:
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce believes that there is a need for additional revenue in order to bring Springfield’s infrastructure into a state of good repair, create a better quality of life and provide a solid foundation for economic growth.Currently, infrastructure needs are increasing faster than our revenue growth.
For this reason, The Chamber reiterates its support for investment in streets, sidewalks, bikeways and sewers and therefore supports Ordinance 2013-124 to fund an $86.6 million infrastructure improvement plan and Ordinance 2013-127 to fund the backlog of repairs needed for our city’s sewer system.
Ordinance 2013-124 will finally bring our roads, sidewalks, bikeways and storm sewers into a state of good repair and will fundamentally improve the quality of those items into the future.
Ordinance 2013-127 will address Springfield’s sewer system that has a backlog of known repairs estimated at over $55 million. The sewer fee is a user fee to fund only necessary maintenance of our city’s sewer system. Unfortunately, we have neglected to adjust this fee to pay for the cost of the service since 1996. The Chamber believes Ordinance 2013-127 will help protect our community from large fines and a higher increase in sewer rates from EPA mandates. The Chamber supports indexing the sewer fee for inflation after the 10-year climb is completed to help fund inevitable maintenance, help ensure our community does not find itself in this position again and to provide certainty into the future.
As the leading voice for the area’s business community, The Chamber is unceasingly concerned with some government units and the ever increasing tax burden placed on our businesses and citizens that stifle chances at economic success. At the same time, The Chamber applauds our current city leaders in their progress in improving our fiscal condition and our county leaders for their continued fiscal restraint. The Chamber does not take a position in support of a tax and fee increase lightly and only does so when the tax or fee proposed is designed to be used in a manner that is consistent with the long-term health and vitality of our community.
The Chamber believes that a well-funded infrastructure plan will not only provide public safety and health, but also enhance the quality of life in Springfield.