Judge dismisses lawsuit against CID sales tax

Since it was dismissed without prejudice, the lawsuit can be filed again.

A Boone County Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit regarding the December sales tax election conducted by the Business Loop Community Improvement District in court yesterday.

Jen Henderson, a resident of the CID and a guest attendant at the Ellis Administration, filed the lawsuit. In February of 2015, the then-MU student was believed to be the only registered voter in the CID, meaning she would be the sole voter to decide the tax.

According to an Aug. 25 Columbia Tribune article, the CID tried to draw boundaries to ensure that no registered voters were in the area. If that was the case, property owners would have been able to decide on the sales tax.

However, a county clerk eventually found 15 registered voters within the boundary, sending it to a public vote. Voters approved the half cent sales tax 4-3 in December to improve the Business Loop 70 corridor.

Circuit Court Judge Jodie Asel dismissed Henderson’s lawsuit that asked the court to throw out the results of this election, according to court documents published by the Columbia Missourian. She dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice, meaning the case can be filed again.

In the lawsuit, Henderson gave four reasons for the suit to be voided:

  • **The lack of secret ballot:** Voters had to put their names and addresses on the ballot
  • **The lack of a secure ballot box:** the CID was responsible for holding the ballot box, which may have led to tampering
  • **The lack of notice:** The CID notified voters of the election nine days before it happened.
  • **The lack of a neutral election administrator:** The CID conducted the election rather than a neutral election administrator

According to the Columbia Tribune, the half-cent sales tax will start April 1.

Edited by Hailey Stolze | hstolze@themaneater.com

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