Boone County??s EPIC sales tax proposal was an epic failure at the polls last night.
Voters rejected the 6-year, one eighth of a cent sales tax increase by a 2 to 1 margin.
Mariah Murphy is the President of the Boone County Adventurers 4-H Club. She has been showing her mule named Esther at events for the last 4 years. Murphy and other 4-H members don??t want to lose the Boone County Fairgrounds or the Boone County Fair.
Murphy said, ??We work really hard every year to make the Boone County Fair happen. The kids that show livestock work all year with those animals. It??s really disappointing to not have the community back us so we can show what we have been working on all year.??
The tax would have generated up to $3 million a year for 6 years. It would have paid for fairgrounds improvements and money for county parks and economic development. Money from the county??s general revenue fund has paid for fairground operations for the past 3 years.
Opponents of the EPIC sales tax proposal said the defeat at the polls is not the end of the fairgrounds or the Boone County Fair. They said real leadership would come up with a Plan B.
County Commissioner Janet Thompson said it??s not about leadership. It??s about money.
Thompson said, ??The people have spoken. If we were to turn around and say, we asked you for a park??s tax and you said no. Now, we are going to use general revenue? I think that??s a slap in the face to the voters.??
Thompson said the fairgrounds will close. She doesn??t know if the Boone County Fair will take place at the fairgrounds next year. If it does, she said it would probably happen without running water and electricity.
Murphy said, ??We??ll figure out. Hopefully, something will be resolved. We hope we can keep it here because we all love this facility and it supports all of the animals very well.??
Opponents of the EPIC sales tax proposal said one option for funding the fairgrounds is a county wide fundraising effort by non-profit groups and private businesses that use the facilities.