Ballot Item in Billings Could Preserve a Piece of History

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BILLINGS, Mo.–Preserving a piece of history is the motivation behind a proposed sales tax extension in Billings.

Water damage inside and stucco peeling off the building outside are just some of the issues plaguing Billings City Hall.

 “Once everything gets fixed on it, the water damage, the leakage, the windows, it’s again something that the city can be proud of,” says Alderman Mickey Brown. 

Once a bank in the 1800’s, Billings City Hall is now a place for city business and a location to showcase the former bank’s history. 

One of the bank’s vaults was used from 1889-1980 and it’s artifacts like it why people in Billings have such a strong connection to the building and want to maintain it.

“The Bank of Billings, the old building has been kind of the iconic reminder of the past and the significance of this town’s past, such a beautiful building and so now that it became city hall, there are improvements that need to be made to preserve it,” says David Rauch, a Billings resident.

One of the ways City Alderman Mickey Brown is proposing for those improvements to be made is through a sales tax extension.

 “In order to do that we need that one-half of one percent sales tax that was enacted in 2014 to go for two years. Cost wise for every hundred dollars you spend in Billings, it costs you 50 cents.”

The sales tax would generate an estimate of $35,000 per year, which would go exclusively to the bank’s upkeep, but if the tax doesn’t pass, the city will have to take out a loan to preserve the building.

There will be a town hall meeting on the tax proposal Thursday evening at 7:00 at Billings City Hall. 

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