- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The only resident registered to vote in a downtown business district in central Missouri said she would have voted against a proposed sales tax increase if officials had allowed the election to go forward.

The Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District board decided Monday to delay the election planned for August 2016 since there would be a single voter on the issue. The district had sought to raise about $220,000 through the half-cent sales tax increase.

Jen Henderson wasn’t registered to vote in November when the district’s boundaries were drawn to exclude any residential areas. Not having a resident in the district would have allowed property owners to decide the sales tax question. Leaders of the district had overlooked a University of Missouri-owned guesthouse where the 23-year-old lived.

Henderson had registered to vote in February and told the Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/1fUUH0z ) that for as long as she lives within the district’s bounds, she will vote “no” on a proposed sales tax increase.

“I really have no want or need to negotiate,” Henderson said.



An increase would hurt nearby residents, many of whom are poor, she said. She added that she’s not comfortable with property and business owners levying taxes to fund projects that don’t directly benefit residents.

District board members have said that they can’t afford to redraw the boundaries since the district is more than $100,000 in debt.

Board member Dave Griggs called Henderson’s stance a “very regrettable decision,” but said that “it’s a free country, and she can do what she wants.”

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

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