Springfield Missouri Museum audit shows improper use of funds

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July 14, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri: A 1998 approved ballot measure which increased local hotel-motel tax rates in the city for use by the American National Fish and Wildlife Living Museum and Aquarium in the city has not been followed by the museum. An Audit done by city auditor's office showed that the funds generated from this tax measure were not being used in accordance with the stated ballot language. The ballot language says that the money can be used for construction purposes by the museum, but the contract between the city and the museum was broader in its terms and allowed the museum to use the funds for educational programs, care of animals and advertising. The city and the museum though noted that there was plenty of construction going on as well and both agreed to amend their contract to be more restrictive in how the funds from the tax would be used. A city official commented that they did not intend to go against the ballot language and would amend the contract at the next council meeting. They also noted that the Auditor did their job and will keep more in line with the ballot language.[1]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Shall the City of Springfield increase the tax paid ... from two (2) percent to four and one-half (41/2) percent to promote recreation, education, tourism and the local economy in order to carry out the recommendations of the Vision 20/20 Citizen's Committee and the Commission on Travel and Tourism by developing Civic Park, construction of an indoor ice facility and making capital grants available for projects to assist non-for-profit organizations who promote these activities such as the Discovery Center, the Gillioz, and the Landers Theaters, Dickerson Park Zoo and the American National Fish and Wildlife Living Museum and Aquarium with the tax increase to end with the last debt service payment.[2]

See also

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  1. News-Leader, "Tax not used according to original intent, audit finds," July 14, 2011
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.