JOPLIN, MO.--- With a vote of five to zero, the Northpark Lane Community Improvement District will move forward with plans to add a 1% sales tax on retail stores in the mall.
"We're trying to preserve the mall for the long term," said Francisco Rojas, Mall Management Director.
The tax would be added to the already existing sales tax. Funds from the tax would then be used as collateral for the $10 million bond that purchased a new parking lot, storm drainage, and new lightning.
"We want the mall to continue being vibrant. To continue serving the people of Joplin," said Rojas.
Mall Management Director Francisco Rojas says the improvements are necessary to stop people from going somewhere else to shop.
"We are trying to invest back into the community, We're trying to invest back into the mall. We're trying to provide the local market opportunities to shop," he said.
The 1% sales tax would be used in the mall for up to 20 years. That won't stop some shoppers from coming to the mall.
"If it will help the mall out, yeah, I'm for that," said John England, Carthage resident.
"I remember growing up as a kid and being like the biggest deal ever to go to the mall. To help keep it clean a little bit, you know, make it a little nicer," said Erin Parks, Carthage resident.
Mall shopper, John England, says even people who may be opposed to the tax increase will still come.
"You still have to have the stuff you need. You know, clothing, whatever you come out here to the mall to get," said England.
The Women's Macy's and the space which was formerly the site of Joplin High School will not have the tax increase. The Northpark Lane Community Improvement District must now elect a mall property owner before they officially pass the tax. If the mall property and other district members are in agreement, the 1% sales tax would start in January of 2015.
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