Columbia Finance Committee addresses declining city revenue

6 months 1 week 6 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
COLUMBIA - An examination of the barriers on the 5th and Walnut parking garage Wednesday showed safety barriers on the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:00:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Darkroom Records hosted a fundraiser at Rose Music Hall for students to showcase their own music. This... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 8:34:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With allegations of "new potential criminal violations," and renewed calls for his resignation, Gov. Eric Greitens released... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 8:34:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - University of Missouri System administrators and a consulting firm founder went to the Capitol Tuesday to discuss... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 7:52:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – One Columbia family has become well-known through the years as they've shared their story about their daughter's battle... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 6:36:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - People and businesses will now have until midnight on Wednesday to file and pay taxes. The Internal... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 6:26:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A 91-year-old man jumped off the top of a parking garage and died from suicide in downtown Columbia... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 6:26:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Senate Committee on Professional Registration held a public hearing for a bill designed to fund training... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 6:07:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A House bill would require able-bodied people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to seek work... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Multiple groups with the city of Columbia hosted a public information meeting Tuesday to discuss short-term rentals, such... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 5:08:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
NEW YORK — Starbucks, moving swiftly to confront a racially charged uproar over the arrest of two black men... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 5:05:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Senate committee heard public hearings Tuesday about a few bills related to expecting mothers and their... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 4:03:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The city council approved a petition to downzone properties in the West-Ash neighborhood Monday night, marking the end... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 3:00:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Truman VA has a new way to help veterans fight the blues by using the blues. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 12:27:00 PM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office has turned over evidence to the St. Louis circuit attorney for... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:27:00 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY— The Latest on allegations against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local): 12:15 p.m. The leader... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:07:00 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY— The Latest on allegations against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local): 9:20 a.m. A spokeswoman says... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:05:01 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Tax Day is April 17 this year, and the Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers that scammers are... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, April 17 2018 Apr 17, 2018 Tuesday, April 17, 2018 8:03:00 AM CDT April 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
9am 38°
10am 39°
11am 42°
12pm 44°