Auditor: Taxpayers "on the hook" for $1 billion for unapproved state projects

1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago April 10, 2017 Apr 10, 2017 Monday, April 10 2017 Monday, April 10, 2017 10:52:00 AM CDT in News
By: Kylie Callura, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway found taxpayers are paying almost $1 billion in outstanding transportation project costs that will be repaid with sales taxes they did not vote on, according to a report she released Monday

The unapproved costs total an estimated $941 million for about 60 percent of Transportation Development Districts, or TDDs, that requested financial disclosure documents.

Galloway said the audit found that TDDs across the state have little to no oversight or transparency on projects because the existing laws related to the districts are weak. This lack of oversight leads to unapproved project costs that fall on taxpayers in that district, she said.

TDD laws were originally created to help communities with transportation projects but have since morphed into public funding sources for private developers, according to the state auditor's office. 

"Insiders have rigged the system to take advantage of Missourians. It is outrageous that taxpayers are on the hook for a billion dollars in debt without even realizing it," Galloway said. "It appears as though the General Assembly has legalized self-dealing and conflicts of interest through the Transportation Development District laws. I am calling for a total overhaul of the laws that allow and even encourage this kind of activity."

The report cited multiple violations of noncompliance with state laws by transportation districts. All districts included businesses that violated the law by not notifying customers of sales taxes charged, the report said. It also said 58 percent did not include even one business that followed the guidelines of the customer tax notification law.

The following TDDs in Missouri were reviewed and found to be non-compliant with at least part of the tax notification law:

  • Rock Bridge (Boone County)
  • Harrisonville Market Place A (Cass County)
  • Highway 71/291 Partners in Progress in Harrisonville (Cass County)
  • Stone Ridge in Jefferson City (Cole County)

The report included eight other districts from around the state. 

In addition to the lack of compliance with the customer tax notification law, Galloway found the Department of Revenue failed to adequately monitor district boundaries. Of the 12 districts audited, incorrect boundary lines caused 42 percent of the districts to have sales taxes incorrectly calculated or collected, the report said. 

Galloway said the department did not provide information to taxpayers on taxes paid to the district that were supposed to be for public projects. The report said the department does not disclose how much TDDs receive in tax dollars if they did not have at least seven businesses.

The report concluded that the full amount owed may be much higher than the estimated $941 million and could continue to rise as new TDDs are formed.

More News

Grid
List
ST. CHARLES - The judge in Serghei Comerzan's trial has ordered jurors to keep deliberating after they reported being at... More >>
2 minutes ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 2:04:55 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A 4-year-old child was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after a fire at a home on... More >>
47 minutes ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 1:20:00 PM CDT in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County deputies served a search warrant at 507 N. Garth Avenue in Columbia as the result... More >>
1 hour ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 12:28:00 PM CDT in News
PLATTE COUNTY - Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a 25-year-old northwest Missouri man if he is convicted... More >>
2 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 11:09:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Police have made an arrest in the investigation of a suspicious death in April. A 16-year-old... More >>
3 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 10:15:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Fire Department says it rescued a man after he became trapped between a... More >>
6 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 7:55:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A Cape Girardeau institute that helps autistic people will remain open despite losing its state funding.... More >>
6 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 7:26:35 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Saint Louis University officials say no one was injured when a fire broke out at a... More >>
7 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 6:56:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation was preparing Friday for a weekend of heavy travel. AAA predicted... More >>
9 hours ago May 26, 2017 May 26, 2017 Friday, May 26 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 4:09:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
HOLTS SUMMIT - Callaway County Sheriff Deputies arrested two men after deputies found meth, marijuana and a firearm in their... More >>
14 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:36:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Eric Greitens called for the special legislative session on Monday, and it’s costing taxpayers thousands of... More >>
17 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:51:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police are investigating whether a man who stole a pickup truck after killing a woman and... More >>
18 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 7:09:45 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – President Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts on Tuesday could decrease funding for food stamps by nearly $200 billion... More >>
19 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:38:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Pizza Tree, a local restaurant in Columbia, is participating in a national campaign that works with the non-profit... More >>
20 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:17:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A preliminary assessment has found about $86 million of damage and costs from recent flooding and... More >>
21 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man could face up to a year in prison after admitting that he... More >>
21 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 4:28:01 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City announced it will withdraw from the Affordable Care Act starting... More >>
23 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 2:56:00 PM CDT in News
PARMA (AP) — A southe ast Missouri ma n is accused of burglary after allegedly targeting a most unlikely place... More >>
1 day ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:51:54 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
2pm 80°
3pm 81°
4pm 80°
5pm 79°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Judge Alex
2:30p
Judge Alex
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
First Dates
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld