Columbia Parks and Recreation Propose Park Sales Tax Renewal Extension

Jun 16, 2015

The proposed parks sales tax could fund the buying of new land for preservation, maintenance along trails and other parks, and new developments.
Credit File Photo / KBIA

The Columbia Parks and Recreation and the city manager are proposing the parks and recreation sales tax be renewed every six years rather than five years.

City manager Mike Matthes told the city council during a work session Monday night it is important that the parks tax not be drowned out by other sales tax scheduled for renewal around the same time.

“We like the community to be able to focus on parks when its parks question, the roads when it’s time for the roads,” Matthes said “Without feeling like it’s too much to ask for or that they’re competing with one another.”

If the city council approves placing the tax renewal on the ballot, Columbia residents will vote on it in November. It would bring in $18 million over the next six years. Director Mike Griggs presented a preliminary list of projects the money would be used for. The current list includes buying new land for preservation, maintenance along trails and other parks, and new developments such as a sports field house in Phillips Lake Park. Griggs will present the final list to the council August 17.

“We’re going to spend a lot of time listening to our users listening to the citizens and listening to the council people,” he said. “Eventually down the road whenever we get to the final list, we hope we have a list that represents all of Columbia.”

In August, the city council will vote on the final list and will determine the renewal period for the tax to be placed on the ballot in November.