NEOSHO, MO.--- Newton County voters show their support for workers with disabilities. A proposed tax to help the Crowder Industries Workshop in Neosho passed by 500 votes. The Crowder Industries Workshop employs 130 people, most of them with developmental disabilities. The jobs were at risk due to a growing debt.
"All of us have a right to work, whether we're developmentally disabled or not," said Mike Franks, Volunteer Campaign Manager.
Newton County voters stood behind those workers by taking on an extra tax.
"If we need a little assistance to make sure our friends and neighbors who are developmentally disabled have that opportunity to work and support themselves, that's just a good public investment," said Franks.
Supporters of the decision hope it means a bright future for the Crowder Industries Workshop.
"When the developmentally disabled are brought here, they're assessed, they're trained, and then they're matched to a job that they can do," said Franks.
The levy is 6 cents per $100 of assessed property value. That means taxes on a $100,000 home will cost an extra $11. 40 each year. The tax is needed because the workshop is running at a deficit.
"This will put us back solidly in the black, give us time to execute additional plans for growth for additional business for the future, and maintain a solid foundation for the workshop," said Franks.
Advocates say it's money well spent for the community.
"When you see people who want to work as hard as these people do, who show up with a great attitude, how can you not support that?" Asked Franks.
The tax will raise $360,000 a year for the workshop. Campaigners say employees are very grateful for the assistance.
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