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The Voter Decides

A group of business owners in Columbia, Mo., wanted to be able to tax themselves and their customers. With the help of the city council, they set up a community improvement district without any residents: state law says that when there are no residents to vote on sales taxes in a CID, the landowners vote instead. But then Jen Henderson, 23, a University of Missouri student living in a guest house within the CID, registered to vote there. Henderson says Carrie Gartner, the CID’s executive director, “tried to get me to unregister, and that’s pretty manipulative.” She’s also concerned that if she approves the plan, people making a quarter of Gartner’s $70,000 salary would be taxed on their groceries to pay it. The sales tax would also be used to improve the area. (AC/Columbia Daily Tribune) ...Is any of this what democracy looks like?
Original Publication Date: 30 August 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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