Currently, OTC is at capacity on what programs it can provide and the number of students it can serve. On average, the college graduates between 2,500 and 3,000 people annually. Higdon says if both measures pass they conservatively estimate an additional 500 graduates each year. Without the passage of Proposition B, the community college would remain at full capacity and would be unable to serve more students in the area, he says.
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow says communities across the country are finding it difficult for their businesses to expand without access to a trained, skilled workforce and talent pipeline, and OTC helps alleviate this problem. The Springfield Chamber one of several community organizations supporting both issues. Others include the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield, Taney County Partnership, local union chapters and the chambers of commerce in Branson, Nixa, Ozark and Republic.
“The communities most effectively competing for growth and job creation will be those that have answered this riddle, and so I believe the communities in the best position to do that are those that have exceptional assets, and OTC is a great example of that,” Morrow says.
Read more about OTC's plans for the tax here.
How much will it cost residents?
Right now, residents within the tax district pay 15 cents for every $100 of assessed property value. That rate would continue if only one of the propositions passed, would increase to 20 cents if both passed and would decrease to 10 cents if neither passed.
Who can vote on Propositions A and B?
Fourteen counties are within OTC’s service area, but only eight are within the taxing district. Those include Dade, Lawrence, Stone, Christian, Taney, Webster, Greene and Polk counties. Each issue needs 50 percent plus one to pass, and votes will be totaled across the counties. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. To find your polling place, click here. You will need a photo ID or other acceptable form of identification to cast a ballot.