With three weeks left in the legislative session, a Missouri House committee is considering whether to ask voters to approve a 1/8 of one percent conservation sales tax in 2020 and every six years. During Monday evening’s public hearing on the measure, Mike Moon, a Republican from southwest Missouri’s Ash Grove, says taxpayers have contacted him about re-evaluating the tax.

Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove

“I think the timeliness of it kind of indicates that there’s not a real stomach in the legislature for this to go much further than tonight. But in any case, I’m here presenting it,” says Moon. “Since I’m a representative of the people, I believe it’s my responsibility to be their voice. And that’s why I’m presenting this bill.”

State Department of Conservation Director Sara Parker Pauley says the tax costs each Missourian about $19 per year.

“I’m hoping that, that members of the committee heard from the vast majority of those in attendance that they don’t want anything to change about how the department is funded, how conservation is funded here in the state,” she says.

The tax finances about 61% of the department. In the 2018 fiscal year, the funding amounted to about $105 million.

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