Omitted Information

Christian County, Missouri, bills itself as the fastest growing county in the state. And with that growth comes growing pains:

Christian County voters will consider a pair of ballot proposals that will control the flow of money at the courthouse and sheriff’s office.

County officials link a population boom to a need for more revenue for law enforcement. Voters will consider two questions on April 3. The first asks to postpone the 2015 sunset of a quarter-cent sales tax. The second question asks voters to OK a new quarter-cent tax. If both measures pass, the Christian County sheriff’s office and judicial system would stand to gain between $600,000 and $1 million annually from a sales tax totaling a half cent on every dollar.

The last sales tax hike in Christian County occurred in 2001. Since then, the county’s population soared from about 54,000 to nearly 77,500. The 42 percent population increase sparked some changes and new pressures on law enforcement.

What’s not mentioned in the article is the impact of an additional 23,500 residents owning property and making purchases in Christian County at the existing tax rate. All those additional residents have already increased the revenue available to Christian County government spenders, but those numbers are not to be found in the article.

The important thing, as always, for the reader to take away is that ever-increasing population demands ever-increasing tax rates (regardless of actual, absolute revenue dollar amounts). It’s very important to keep government officials from having to establish and stick to priorities, like fund law enforcement before recycling programs.