A proposed 1.5 percent use tax in Franklin County was rejected by a big margin by voters in last Tuesday’s election. With only about 13 percent of the registered voters showing up at the polls, nearly 60 percent said no to the tax. The vote was 5,075 no to 3,426 yes.

The defeat was not unexpected. There was no organized campaign for the tax. It was placed before voters by the county commission. The Missourian had a number of stories on the proposed tax so the information was available to voters. There was some confusion over the merits of the tax and its benefit to the county and that didn’t help the cause. There also was confusion on the state level about the tax and its revenue usefulness.

The day of voters approving a new tax without a clear explanation of its merits, and strong promotion, is over.

Perhaps if a citizens committee had been appointed that was really sold on its merits, and promoted it, it would have had a better chance with voters. It should be noted that Warren County passed a use tax.