08/20/2016 Renewal of Amendment 1: “Parks, Soils and Water Sales Tax”
I will never use this club to promote politics EXCEPT to discuss conservation issues. The MDC was created by a constitutional amendment back in 1936 to keep politics out of conservation and to promote the use of scientific techniques in management. In 1976, again by constitutional amendment, Missourians passed a 1/8th percent sales tax to fund the MDC. In 1999, politicians attempted to hijack the funds for political gain but were stopped by the Missouri Supreme Court. The value to conservation in Missouri from this tax is significant and has made Missouri the envy of every other state conservation department.
The politicians don’t like not having control. As a result, there is a 10 year renewal for a similar tax (1/10th percent sales tax) for the state parks and the state’s soil erosion and water quality efforts. It is not a new tax. It was started about 30 years ago and has been renewed several times since. With this tax, there is no entrance fee to Missouri’s state parks and we have gone from having the nation’s second worst erosion problem to being close to the best. Polling suggests that it is likely to pass again. However, it needs to pass by a high margin so that we send a message to contrary politicians who would like to get their hands on conservation and natural resource management practices and finances. Other states are watching Missouri and a strong win here will help conservation and natural resource management elsewhere. Vote yes on Amendment 1 in November. It’s good for Missouri.