Voter Approve OTC Tax Proposals

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Voters approved two issues that impact nine counties here in the Ozarks -  OTC levy issues.

Proposition A is a renewed five-cent tax. Proposition B is a tax increase of another five-cents.

OTC administrators say this will cost the average homeowner about $10 a year, which will become $3.3 million for the college.

That money will help fund workforce development programs at OTC and a new training facility.

Just last week OTC announced its plans for the next few years which focuses on employer needs preparing students for jobs local employers say there aren't enough qualified people, for example, HVAC, construction, manufacturing and allied health.

"Good paying jobs that are available today and the only thing missing are workers with the right skills to fill those positions," said Matt Morrow, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.  "In fact, that is really the number one barrier to job growth. We talk to manufacturers just a few weeks ago who said he was ready to make his next expansion of 150 jobs, but he couldn’t do it because he had 132 existing positions that he can't fill. These jobs that are 2 to 3 times the average wage here in the area, but they require certain skills."

OTC administrators say those two measures ensure funding for another 20 years and that OTC remains an affordable option for students. 

"For our voters who voted yes on A and B, thank you," said Dr. Hal Higdon, chancellor at OTC. "When we passed the original 20 years ago, we made promises and we outperformed. And we promise to outperform again. We have 20 years to do great things and it begins tomorrow."

The money will also help OTC fund an expansion at its Richland campus in Nixa and other programs in surrounding counties. 

See complete election results here

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