Remember, remember the fifth of November. Voters in Jackson County, Missouri will certainly remember this Nov. 5 as they will vote on a half-cent sales tax to fund medical research in the area, the Kansas City Star reports.
On Aug. 26, county legislators passed a motion 7-2 to put the measure on the ballot for the upcoming election, The Star said.
If enough “yes” votes are gathered, citizens would be taxed for 20 years to support a new Jackson County Institute for Translational Medicine.
It’s estimated the tax would bring in about $40 million a year, with half the money collected going to research at Children’s Mercy Hospital, though the cost of doing annual audits and tax collection would be subtracted from that portion; while the University of Missouri-Kansas City and St. Luke’s Hospital would each get 20 percent. Economic development and training programs for the institute would get the final 10 percent of funds raised from the tax.
Those in favor of the tax told The Star it would help the university and hospitals become leaders in developing treatments and cures as they could buy the best equipment and hire top scientists for their labs. In ten years, the tax would also have indirect and direct economic benefits of $600 million for the area and would add over 230 jobs, they said.
However, those against the tax were concerned that it would negatively impact other taxes in place for parks and that taxpayers would be on the hook for the extra election costs if the measure failed.
In the end, however, it will be up to the citizens to decide whether or not they feel it is their responsibility to help fund medical research in their county.
- With files from The Kansas City Star