COLUMBIA, MISSOURI — Giving people a vote totally gets in the way of a functioning democracy, which is why in the U.S. there is gerrymandering, the practice of redrawing the borders of voting districts by the party in power to maximize the number of districts that will elect its candidates.
A mistake by representatives of the Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District means a sales tax increase the district needs to pay back debt will require the approval of a single University of Missouri student.
State law permits voters in a community improvement district to impose taxes or assessments within the district. If a district doesn't have any registered voters, then only property owners get to vote.
Jen Henderson, 23, on Feb. 28 became the only registered voter living inside the community improvement district, meaning she is the only person who can vote on a half-cent sales tax increase for the area.
The property owners needed to raise money for the district so they planned a half-cent sales tax to raise $220,000, which would be paid by poor people living nearby. Too bad for the owners, they didn't know Mizzou student Jen Henderson was the sole registered voter in the community improvement district.
The owners then tried to get Henderson to unregister so they could go ahead with their plans, but Jen wasn't having it, making her the only person able to decide on the tax. Doh!
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