Columbia Finance Committee addresses declining city revenue

9 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, October 05 2017 Oct 5, 2017 Thursday, October 05, 2017 3:26:00 PM CDT October 05, 2017 in News
By: Lauren Magarino, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Columbia's city revenue has stayed the same for roughly two decades. The city itself, however, has grown exponentially.

“Our city has grown by 60 percent in the last 22 years. That’s a lot of people. Even when revenue stays neutral the need grows, and the need is growing. That’s the problem,” said Maria Oropallo, chair of the Columbia Finance Advisory and Audit Committee.

Because of that, the group met Thursday to discuss ways to possibly raise revenue.

“The past year has been very, very obvious that we have a revenue problem. We can probably continue cutting services, but would that serve the citizens. We believe we’re at a point that we can’t cut anymore,” Oropallo said.
So the committee is working on other ways to possibly raise revenue. Members of the committee researched options from a study conducted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a progressive policy institute and advocacy organization. 
CAP wrote the report suggests ways to raise city revenue, "without unduly burdening working families or creating an unsupportable drag on economic growth, along with some general suggestions for making municipal tax systems fairer and more efficient."
Some of the options included reforming property taxes, regressive taxes and fees, and instituting a progressive city income tax.
Oropallo says the committee identified nine points by the end of the meeting, including the possibility of an internet sales tax.
“Columbia is also facing the same challenges as other cities are facing. We recognize that it starts at the federal level, then it has to go to the state, and then it comes to city. So perhaps one way, is for the city to be prepared in response so that we’re not waiting for the state or the federal government to make all the decisions. So when they allow us, we might be able to hit the ground running.” 
Another option it explored were Payments in Lieu of Taxes by Nonprofits, or PILOTs, voluntary payments made by tax-exempt entities such as nonprofit organizations, utilities, or other units of government.  
"Are we getting what we’re supposed to be getting? Is there a revenue stream that we hadn’t considered in the past?” Oropallo said. 
Other options members mentioned at the meeting were: a split-rate property tax, tiered pricing for utilities, income tax, commuter tax, and business income taxes. 
“These are specific topics that have very specific requirements and limitations, and we have to see if this something that A. we can introduce or B. will the public go for it,” she said. 
 
The biggest challenge for the committee moving forward is education.  
"Number one, we have to educate ourselves first. We have to understand how does this work, what are the implications of this. Number two, then we have to educate the elected officials. They’re balancing a bunch of balls in the air. We are coming to them with just one ball. So we have to be able to address them,” Oropallo said.  
The committee says it is open to hearing input from anyone, and welcomes any ideas from those who are interested. 
“We hope that by our November 9th meeting we might have a draft proposal of a recommendation we can make to city council,” Oropallo said.  

More News

Grid
List
The website for a tour company whose boat capsized in Missouri says the business is offering to pay for medical... More >>
5 minutes ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 12:51:46 PM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker says an investigation needs to play out before decisions are made about how to... More >>
26 minutes ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 12:31:00 PM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A nail salon manager has been convicted of setting a fire that killed two firefighters... More >>
37 minutes ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 12:19:50 PM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri landowners can now apply to the USDA's National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to cut hay on... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 11:32:00 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Researchers at the alma mater of Dr. Seuss say the furry orange protagonist of "The Lorax"... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 10:53:00 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of existing homes fell 0.6 percent in June, the third straight monthly decline, as higher... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 10:39:55 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation has signed the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) pledge. The... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 10:26:00 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man's feud with his grandmother turned into a bizarre and deadly weekend confrontation that ended... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 10:04:00 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of tumult, Pentagon official Robert Wilkie is expected to become secretary of Veterans Affairs when... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 9:47:11 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
TORONTO (AP) — A man walked along a Toronto street firing a handgun into restaurants and cafes, shooting 14 people... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 8:44:00 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD - The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado happened in Camden County early Friday morning. At 4:32am, a... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 8:39:00 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says it is planning to raise a duck boat that sank in... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have suspended a driver who recorded hundreds of St. Louis-area passengers... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 4:25:18 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia mom said she almost got on the duck boat that capsized on Table Rock Lake with... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 10:28:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - After eight years serving in the Missouri House of Representatives, Rep. Gail McCann Beatty's, D-Kansas City, resignation... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 6:12:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - This recreational lake was just five spots shy of being the most dangerous place to... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 5:55:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — A memorial service is scheduled for the people killed when a tourist boat sank in a Missouri... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:39:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Missouri residents may see a limited elk hunt in 2020 if the state's elk herd continues to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 22 2018 Jul 22, 2018 Sunday, July 22, 2018 12:16:00 PM CDT July 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 82°
1pm 84°
2pm 85°
3pm 86°
4pm 86°