Columbia Sales Tax, Other Races

Columbia voters will be asked to approve a non-home rule .25 percent sales tax on eligible merchandise to provide funds for high priority infrastructure projects, focusing on street, bridge, sidewalk and park projects.

Items that will not be subject to the tax are groceries, prescription and non-prescription medications and medical supplies, and personal property that it titled like cars, boats, trailers and aircraft.

City officials said they estimate the tax would bring in about $160,000 a year in additional revenue if passed.

The official ballot measure will read:

“Shall the corporate authorities of the City of Columbia, Illinois, be authorized to levy a Municipal Retailers’ Occupation Tax and a Municipal Service Occupation Tax each at a rate of .25 percent for expenditures on municipal operations, expenditures on public infrastructure, or property tax relief?”

Most local races on Tuesday feature candidates running unopposed, but there are a few contested races. Other local races of interest include:

•For Valmeyer Village Board, there are technically four candidates running for three seats. Butch Ford decided against running for re-election, leaving only incumbent trustees Robert Mohr and Bruce Whipple listed on the ballot as up for re-election. After hearing there was an opening on the board, Tim Valentine and Kyle Duffy filed to run as write-in candidates. There is a statutory deadline for a candidate to file with the county clerk’s office if they want to run in that category. Only write-in lines are placed on the ballot for those offices where valid write-in candidates have filed.

•For Red Bud School Board, Abigail Carter is running unopposed in her township and range, but there are four candidates running for three other seats based on area of residence: Diane Schoenbeck, Larry Gielow, Robert Doty and Tamara Koesterer.

•For New Athens School Board, three candidates are to be elected out of these six candidates based on area of residence: Susan Parker, Jennifer Hoffman, Catherine Meggs, Terry Hamon, Thomas Drake and Laurel Ruhmann. One will also be chosen by voters out of David Park and Victoria Hartwig.

•The Waterloo City Council features entirely unopposed candidates, including Mayor Tom Smith, City Clerk Barb Pace, Treasurer Brad Papenberg, Ward 1 Alderman Steve Notheisen, Ward 2 Alderman Jim Hopkins and Ward 4 Alderman Clyde Heller. Stan Darter is running unopposed for Charlie Metzger’s Ward 3 seat as Metzger is retiring from public office.

•The Columbia City Council also features unopposed candidates, including Ward 1 Alderman Steven Reis, Ward 3 Alderman Jeff Huch and Ward 4 Alderman Steve Holtkamp. Kevin Martens is running unopposed for TJ Mathews’ Ward 2 seat as Mathews has decided against running for re-election.

•The Columbia School Board has three candidates running for three seats. Scott Middelkamp and Randy Simmonds are running for re-election; Tammy Mitchell Hines is running for the seat to be vacated by Marshall Stout.

• The Valmeyer School Board features four unopposed candidates: Ginny Rusteberg, Kimberly Franke, Andrea Blackwell and Zoe Ann Schwarze.

For information on polling locations and voter registration, contact the Monroe County Clerk’s Office at 939-8681, ext. 302.

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Andrea F.D. Saathoff

Andrea is a graduate of Gibault High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Education. She lives in Columbia with her husband and their twin toddler sons. When she isn't cheering on St. Louis Cardinals baseball or riding the emotional roller coaster of Mizzou Tigers football, she enjoys attending and participating in the many family events the county has to offer. email:
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