Our View: New aquatic center example of tangible results from community taxes

The Kirksville Aquatic Center, with its broken water slide, leaking pipes and rusting electrical boxes, will be getting an estimated multi million dollar upgrade thanks to voters passing a half-cent city sales tax last spring to go toward the Parks and Recreation Department.

One of the main critiques when sales taxes like the half-cent one are proposed is that taxpayers are wary of sales taxes because they are almost always inherently regressive. This means they disportionately target people in lower-income brackets.

Other critiques of general taxes are that oftentimes community members feel like they never see actual results or reap tangible benefits from the money they are paying government institutions.

In the case of this particular sales tax, it is worth noting, nearly 70 percent of Kirksville municipal election voters passed the half-cent tax last spring with a ‘yes’ vote, according to tmn.truman.edu’s online election coverage. We, The Index Editorial Board, thinks this might have been partly because, although a sales tax, it was a tax many citizens were willing to pay because it would result in improving to their community.

Additionally, because this sales tax is going toward public parks and recreational facilities, the tax is something that can benefit community members of all income brackets who can enjoy open activities and see physical evidence of an improvement in their environment.

An important event to point out is the upcoming municipal elections taking place on April 3. We, The Index Editorial Board, would like to encourage Kirksville citizens to inform themselves on the issues and vote because, as the new aquatic center project demonstrates, many of the issues that arise during elections can dictate how and where tax dollars are spent — something citizens should remain aware of.