The Missouri Farm Bureau’s top priority for next week’s general election continues to be a sales tax extension for Missouri’s parks, soil and water conservation.
Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst is optimistic that a one-tenth-of-one-percent sales tax extension for parks, soil and water conservation will pass on Tuesday.
“That’s a renewal of a tax that’s been on the books since the mid 1980s. Brings in about $90 million a year back to state parks and to soil conservation split 50/50,” Hurst says.
Hurst tells Missourinet that Constitutional Amendment One’s passage will make Missouri’s water cleaner and will make the state a better place.
“It’s made it possible on our farm (in northwest Missouri) for us to save our valuable soil, which as you know, we can’t replace it, or at least not in our lifetimes. And so we’ve (the state) saved well over 170 million tons of soil since the program started,” says Hurst.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) says the tax has helped prevent 177 million tons of soil from eroding into state waterways.
The Farm Bureau is working with environmentalists to urge voters to approve the sales tax extension. Hurst says a citizens committee backing the measure has representatives from farm, park and environmental groups.
“We’ve raised a little bit of money, compared to what’s being spent in some of the other races, not very much,” Hurst says. “And it’s come almost 50/50 from ag groups and environmental groups. So those relationships are important and they’ll last well past November 8th.”
The tax was created through a constitutional amendment, and was first approved by Missouri voters in 1984. Hurst notes voters have renewed it three times: in 1988, 1996 and 2006.
There is no organized opposition to the measure.