New Madrid County: Tax issues before voters in two towns

Monday, August 6, 2018

Along with choosing who will represent their parties in the November election, Matthews and Portageville voters will have special proposals on their ballots during Tuesday’s primary.


Proposition 1 asks Portageville residents to decide whether to prohibit the open burning of trash, lumber, leaves, straw or any other combustible material.

Rachel Wrather, Portageville city clerk, said the vote will be non-binding but is the result of request from citizens to extend the community’s current burn-ban ordinance

With Proposition 2, the city of Portageville is proposing a one-fourth of 1 percent sales tax. The tax, if approved, will provide funding for security resource officers for Portageville schools and, according to the ballot, the tax would expire after 10 years.

The issue was placed on the ballot after a meeting between city and school officials, said Portageville Mayor Dennis McCrate. He explained the tax would generate approximate $74,000 a year and in addition to funding the cost of the resource officer any excess money, would be used for public safety purposes ranging from funding for police and fire protection to providing storm sirens.


A one-half of 1 percent tax is proposed in the municipality of Matthews. The proceeds will be used for economic development purposes.

Mike Pyles, Matthews city clerk, said if the tax is approved, an economic development board would be named. The board would then make recommendations to the mayor and the board of aldermen of projects which the money could fund.

Pyles said the tax could be used in a variety of ways from promoting the town’s Interstate 55 intersection as a business location to helping lessen the financial impact of upcoming improvements to the city’s water system.

“(The sales tax) will really be a boost to the citizens of the Matthews in the future and right now,” Pyles said.



Longtime 34th Judicial Circuit Judge Fred Copeland is retiring at the end of the year. Seeking the office on the Democratic ballot is Edward Reeves.

None of the other Democratic incumbents face a challenger on the ballot in the primary election or in November. Candidates for re-election are: Joshua D. Underwood, associate circuit judge; Mark Baker, presiding commissioner; Clement Cravens, county clerk; Dewayne Nowlin, collector; Steve Riley, treasurer; Kim St. Mary Hall, recorder; Andrew Lawson, prosecuting attorney; and Marsha Meatte Holiman, clerk of the circuit court.


U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill faces six opponents in the Democratic primary: Carla (Coffee) Wright, Angelica Earl, Leonard Joseph Steinman II, John Hogan, Travis Gonzalez and David Faust.

Running unopposed are Nicole Galloway for state auditor and Kathy Ellis, U.S. Representative District 8, as well as Bill Burlison, state representative, District 149.



Daniel Cornacchione Sr. is unopposed in his bid for the Republican nomination for 34th Judicial Circuit judge’s post.


In the race for the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in November, voters will choose from 11 candidates: Tony Monetti, Austin Petersen, Josh Hawley, Fred Ryman, Christina Smith, Kristi Nichols, Bradley Krembs, Ken Patterson, Brian G. Hagg, Courtland Sykes and Peter Pfeifer.

Voters will choose one of the four candidates to represent the GOP in the state auditor race: Kevin M. Roach, David Wasinger, Paul Curtman and Saundra McDowell.

Running unopposed on the Republican ticket are: Jason Smith, Eighth District U.S. representative, and Don Rone, 149th District state representative.


Two candidates are seeking the Green Party’s nomination for state senator. Candidates are Jo Crain and Jerome Bauer.

Don Fitz is the Green Party’s candidate for state auditor.


The sole statewide candidate on the ballot is Jacob Luetkemeyer, who is running for state auditor.


Japheth Campbell is unopposed on the Libertarian Party ballot for state senator. Also unopposed is Jonathan L. Shell, Eighth District U.S. representative, and Sean O’Toole, state auditor


Regardless of which ballot voters choose on Primary Election Day, they will choose “yes” or “no” as a response to “Statutory Measure Proposition A,” which is the right-to-work issue.

The ballot language is as follows: “Do the people of the state of Missouri want to adopt Senate Bill 19 (“Right-to Work”) as passed by the general assembly in 2017, which prohibits as a condition of employment the forced membership in a labor organization (union) or forced payments of dues in full or pro-rate (fair-share); make any activity which violates employees’ rights legal and ineffective; allow legal remedies for anyone injured as a result of another person violating or threatening to violate employees’ rights; and which shall not apply to union agreement entered into before the effective date of Senate Bill 19? State and local government entries expect no cost or savings.”

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Voters must bring a form of photo identification, such as a driver’s license, to their respective precincts.

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