There will be two questions on the ballot for the Carroll Recreation Center bond referendum vote on Sept. 8. One for approval of General Obligation (GO) bond funding at a limit of $5.9 million on the estimated $13.38 million total. The city has allocated $1 million, leaving the remainder to come from Local Option Sales Tax (L.O.S.T.) bonds. The tax was set to sunset in 2024 for the City of Carroll, so the second question on the ballot will be asking voters to approve continuation of the one percent sales and services tax until such a time it is repealed, essentially eliminating any sunset. As the debate on this proposal continues, with some members of the local media editorializing anti-sunset elimination while others take a pro stance, the Carroll Chamber of Commerce is an entity in full support of keeping the tax. Chamber President, Mark Neppl, says it gives Carroll the same amount of leverage as other communities and provides funding for a lot of projects and initiatives that benefit residents as well as businesses.
If the measure were to be voted down, Neppl says it would be detrimental to future projects and effectively curb some progression. Neppl has served as manager of Bomgaars for 22 years and says they have seen the benefits of that one percent first hand since 2004.
Twenty-five percent of the funds are used for property tax relief, about $500,000 annually is earmarked for street rehabilitation and around $250,000 is used annually for other wants and needs. Streetscapes, the fire station, the aquatic center and the library and city hall projects are just some examples.
Chamber Vice President, Tim Gute, agrees. “The impression we give of a community that is moving forward is an indirect benefit from projects made possible by Local Option Sales Tax revenue. We are creating a place people want to return to,” he says.