Senate Bill 397, sponsored by Senator Bill White and handled in the House by Representative Lane Roberts, will be signed by Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe during a ceremony set for 3:00pm on Monday, June 24, 2019 at George A. Spiva Center for the Arts (222 West 3rd Street, Joplin, MO, 64801).
Senate Bill 397 amended Section 185.815 of the Missouri Museum and Cultural District Act, extending the time period for property owners to form a Museum and Cultural District following a Presidential declaration establishing a disaster area from 5 to 15 years. For Joplin, this extends the time period that had expired as of May 2016 to May 2026.
Senate Bill 397 passed as a “clean bill” with no amendments by a vote of 33-0 in the Missouri Senate and a vote of 140-3, with 17 abstentions, in the Missouri House of Representatives. “Passing this bill by such strong votes as a ‘clean bill’ is a testament to the outstanding work and effort by Senator White and Representative Roberts with the full support of all Southwest Missouri Legislators,” said Clifford Wert, Connect2Culture President & CFO.
The Missouri Museum and Cultural District Act allows non-contiguous property owners to form a District within an approved redevelopment plan area, as adopted by municipal ordinance, within three years after a Presidential declaration. The proposed map for Joplin will be available at the signing ceremony on June 24, 2019. The purpose of the District is to promote community culture and the arts, recreation and knowledge – including supporting or promoting the performing arts, theater, music, entertainment, public spaces, public libraries, or other public assets.
Section 184.840 states that a district may receive and use funds for the purpose of planning, designing, constructing, reconstructing, maintaining and operating one or more museums and cultural assets, and conducting educational programs in connection with the museum or cultural assets.
Funding for the district may be generated in the form of: 1) sales tax collected at a retail operation of a participating property owner at a rate of either one-half of one percent, three-fourth of one percent, or one percent; 2) admission fee at a rate no more than one dollar per seat or admission; 3) a combination of a sales tax and admission fee.
This change to the Missouri Museum and Cultural District Act was one of the recommendations proposed in the final Vision Joplin 2022 report to the Joplin City Council through the efforts of its Quality of Life – Arts & Culture Subcommittee. Connect2Culture took the lead on this initiative, encouraging the City of Joplin to pursue this one-word change. Connect2Culture requested a partnership with the City to engage Burton/Liese Government Relations represented by Gary Burton. Mr. Burton worked with local legislators to get the bill filed.
“This partnership action between Connect2Culture and the City of Joplin, through the outstanding efforts of Mr. Burton and our elected State legislators, specifically Senator White and Representative Roberts, translates into a future opportunity for Joplin property owners to support operations of museums and cultural assets in Joplin,” said Wert.