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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Area voters head to the polls on Tuesday

Friday, October 29, 2010

(Photo)
Getting ready to vote at the First Presbyterian Church in Monett, the Forest Park precinct in Lawrence County. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
By LISA SCHLICHTMAN

Area voters will head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 2 with no local elections to decide. All the candidates running for county office in Lawrence and Barry counties are Republicans who face no opposition.

Barry County candidates are: Victor Head, Division 1 associate circuit judge; Robert "Bob" Foulke, Division II associate circuit judge; Craig Williams, circuit clerk-recorder of deeds; Janice Varner, collector; Gary Youngblood, clerk; Cherry Warren, presiding commissioner; Johnnie Cox, prosecuting attorney; and Lois Lowe, treasurer.

Lawrence County candidates include: Scott Sifferman, Division 1 associate circuit judge; Sam Jones, Division II associate circuit judge; Sam Goodman, presiding commissioner; Steven W. Kahre, circuit clerk; Gary Emerson, clerk; Pam Robertson, recorder of deeds; Don Trotter, prosecuting attorney; Kelli McVey, collector; and Sharon Kleine, treasurer.

State Representatives David Sater, who represents the 68th District, and Don Ruzicka, who represents the 132nd District, are also running unopposed. Both are Republicans.

Voters will have the opportunity to choose a Congressman and State Senator. Republican Billy Long, Democrat Scott Eckersley and Libertarian Kevin Craig are seeking the Seventh Congressional seat vacated by Roy Blunt, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

Voters will decide two amendment and propositions

By MELONIE ROBERTS

Often voters find ballot language confusing so in anticipation of the upcoming Nov. 2 election, State Representative David Sater, of the 68th District, has offered information on the upcoming issues in simple language.

Amendment #1

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the office of county assessor to be an elected position in all counties with a charter form of government, except counties with a population between 600,001 and 699,999?

A "yes" vote amends the Missouri Constitution to require assessors in charter counties to be elected officials. This proposal will affect St. Louis County and any Missouri county that adopts a charter form of government. The exception for this is Jackson County.

A "no vote" will not change the Missouri Constitution and will keep St. Louis County's assessor position an appointed one.

Fiscal impact: The amendment is estimated to have no impact on taxes or general revenues or any costs to local governmental entities.

Amendment #2

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require that all real property used as a homestead by Missouri citizens who are former prisoners of war and have a total service-connected disability be exempt from property taxes?

A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to exempt any Missouri citizen who is a former prisoner of war with a total service-connected disability from having to pay property taxes on all real property used as a homestead.

A "no" vote will not change the Missouri Constitution to add this exemption for former prisoners of war.

Fiscal impact: Because the number of citizens estimated to meet this definition is very few, this amendment is estimated to have a minimal impact on local governments and is estimated to decrease the state blind pension fund by $1,200.

Amendment #3

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prevent state, counties and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?

A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, any county, or other political subdivision from placing a tax on the sale or transfer of homes or other real estate. This includes any transfer tax or sales tax.

A "no" vote will not change the Missouri Constitution to prevent the imposition of such a tax.

Fiscal impact: This measure is estimated to have no impact to the costs or savings of local governments or state entities.

Proposition A

Shall Missouri law be amended to: repeal the authority of certain cities to use earnings taxes to fund their budgets; require voters in cities that currently have an earnings tax to approve continuation of such tax at the next general municipal election and at an election held every five years thereafter; and prohibit any city from adding a new earnings tax to fund their budget?

A "yes" vote amends Missouri law to repeal the authority of certain cities to use earnings taxes to fund their budgets. The amendment also requires voters in cities that currently use earnings taxes as a revenue generator (St. Louis and Kansas City) to approve continuation of the earnings tax at the next general municipal election and at an election held every five years, or if voted down, phase out the tax over a period of 10 years.

A "no" vote will not change Missouri law regarding the use of earnings taxes by missouri cities.

Fiscal impact: For 2010, Kansas City budgeted earnings tax revenue of $199.2 million and St. Louis budgeted earnings tax revenue of $141.2 billion. Reduced earnings tax deductions could increase state revenue by approximately $4.8 million. The total cost or savings to state and local governmental entities is unknown.

Proposition B

Shall Missouri law be amended to: require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space, necessary veterinary care, regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles; prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and create a misdemeanor crime of "puppy mill cruelty" for any violations?

A "yes" vote will amend Missouri law to require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space, necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles. The amendment also prohibits any breeder from using more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets and creates the misdemeanor crime of "puppy mill cruelty" for any violations.

A "no" vote will not change Missouri law relating to dog breeders.

Fiscal impact: It is estimated that state entities will incur costs of approximately $650,000 for enforcement. Some local government entities may experience costs related to the enforcement of the law as well as possible savings from reduced animal care activities.

Blunt will be facing off against Democrat Robin Carnahan, Libertarian Jonathan Dine and Constitution Party candidate Jerry Beck for the Senate seat.

Voters will also be selecting a state auditor. Candidates include Democrat Susan Montee, Republican Tom Schweich and Libertarian Charles W. Baum.

In addition, there are three constitutional amendments and two propositions on the ballot for voters to decide.

The Barry County Clerk's Office will be open this Saturday, Oct. 30 from 8 a.m. to noon for absentee voting for the Nov. 2 election.

Absentee voting continues through Monday, Nov. 1 at the county clerk's offices in Cassville and Mt. Vernon.

The polls open at 6 a.m. on election day and close at 7 p.m.

Voters must present one form of identification to vote. Examples of accepted identification are a atate driver's license or a voter registration card.



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