Columbia Finance Committee addresses declining city revenue

2 months 1 week 4 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 – The University of Missouri hit a major fundraising milestone, announcing Wednesday it reached the $1 billion mark. ... More >>
3 days ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 12:08:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Prosecutors charged a Miller County man with failing to comply with sex offender registration for a third... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:44:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The growth of Columbia Regional Airport is set to take another step forward Wednesday morning. Mayor Brian... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:04:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For people in jail, it's sometimes difficult to get together the funds to bail out. That's where... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:24:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama Republican Roy Moore, beset by allegations of sexual misconduct, lost his bid to become a senator.... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:30:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The former Cole County Chief Juvenile Officer sued his former boss and the Cole County Commission Tuesday,... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:33:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - An abandoned car caught fire Tuesday at the intersection of East Broadway and South Rolling Hills Road.... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has entered in a new foster care study that will look at foster parent recruitment and retention.... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A criminal investigation was underway Tuesday after a man's death and a vehicle fire. Foul play was... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:08:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Cover Missouri, a coalition promoting sign ups for the Affordable Care Act, held an open-enrollment event at the... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 2018 Jefferson City council elections only have one contested seat: 5th Ward Council member. Incumbent... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Truman VA’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) went live with a new Tele-ICU technology on Tuesday. Tele-ICU... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Police are still investigating the death of Augustus Roberts, the man found dead at a home in the... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Troopers arrested a man on Tuesday after a high-speed chase which started south of Ashland and ended in... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:38:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has become the 34th state, in addition to two territories, to accept a nationwide public safety network.... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:35:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
NEVADA (AP) — Two inmates who were captured soon after breaking out of a western Missouri jail face new charges.... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:20:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
ASHLAND – Those who live around Ashland were able to avoid paying an online convenience fee or driving to Columbia... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:16:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation for a primary seatbelt law has been filed by the Missouri House Transportation Committee chairman. This... More >>
4 days ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 1:03:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
11am 46°
12pm 46°
1pm 47°
2pm 48°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00a
Give
10:30a
The Champion Within
11:00a
Wild About Animals
10:00a
Discover the Truth
10:30a
In Search of the Lord's Way
11:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
7:00p
The Christmas Bunny
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy