Increased crime could lead to higher property taxes

9 months 3 days 22 hours ago Wednesday, December 20 2017 Dec 20, 2017 Wednesday, December 20, 2017 4:25:00 PM CST December 20, 2017 in News
By: Savannah Rudicel, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia may consider putting a property tax increase to a vote next year to help provide funds for public safety. A drop in sales tax revenue has limited the general revenue used to provide staffing and equipment for Columbia Police. Sales tax revenue has not kept up with, partially due to an increase in online shopping.

There is no specific proposal yet. City Councilman Matt Pitzer said the council would need to review the budget before it would discuss a proposal.

“There are a lot of things we need to consider first in making sure that we’re prioritizing our spending on the police and fire departments already, and making sure that we’re maximizing those dollars first before we go out and even think about whether a tax increase is needed,” Pitzer said.

More pressure is on the city to strengthen the police force after 2017 had one of the highest homicide rates in Columbia in the past 20 years.

Mayor Brian Treece told City Manager Mike Matthes at a City Council meeting Monday he would like to see "a comprehensive crime reduction strategy with a short-term objective of getting on top of these murders and these investigations."

Pitzer said additional funding to the police department may have to wait until clear it presents clear objectives which need funding.

“We’ve been having this long, sort of, community engagement discussion process with different policing strategies and what we want that to look like,” Pitzer said. “So I think it’s important to come to a conclusion on that and have an idea of what their strategy will be before we talk about what kind of funding is needed to implement it.”

Some have concerns about a potential property tax increase. President of the Columbia Board of Realtors, Jim Meyer, said responsibility to fund public safety would fall unfairly to homeowners.

“There are 55,000 or so people estimated to come into Columbia to work or shop or attend various events in town everyday. That’s a pretty large number compared to our population,” Meyer said. “So we’ve got a lot of people who use the services of public safety, our fire, our police, our ambulances, but they aren’t residents who own property here so they wouldn’t be paying for the services if they were largely supported by a property tax.”

A similar proposal was rejected three years ago. Proposition 1 would have raised property taxes 30 cents to support training and staffing for the police and fire departments. That measure lost by more than 19%.

Pitzer said in one way or another, something needs to be done to increase officers’ ability to protect Columbia.

“You look at what’s happened in Columbia over the past year, there’s definitely a need to make sure we are doing the right things to make sure the community is as safe as it possibly can be,” Pitzer said. “I think that our citizens are demanding that and obviously that’s the number one priority of the government."

More News

Grid
List
WASHINGTON (AP) — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein headed to the White House on Monday expecting to be fired by... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 10:30:53 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are investigating a rash of six killings over a two-day period, with five... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 8:17:00 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
CASSVILLE (AP) — A $1.9 million renovation of a southwestern Missouri trout hatchery won't interfere with the tens of thousands... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 6:19:00 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ameren Missouri announced a rate decrease for electric starting Monday. The Missouri Public Service Commission approved... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, September 24 2018 Sep 24, 2018 Monday, September 24, 2018 2:28:00 AM CDT September 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Task Force 1 is in Kinston, North Carolina waiting for its next mission. The task force's... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:58:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford said in a statement on Sunday that she has committed to testifying in... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 6:31:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Farmers across the United States will soon begin receiving government checks as part of a billion-dollar bailout... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 6:27:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the Tour Championship (all times local): 5:58 p.m. Tiger Woods is a... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 5:12:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - According to Missouri state law, all children over the age of eight do not have to ride in... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 4:51:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are searching for a person who ran away from a traffic stop in south Columbia around... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 4:22:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Both China and the United States' newest round of tariffs go into effect on Monday. The US' tariffs... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 2:51:00 PM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Over 100 activists walked around Stephens Lake Park on Sunday to raise money and awareness to end hunger... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 11:58:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One person died and another was hurt in a one-vehicle crash Sunday morning. Police said Perri A.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 9:57:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball forward Mitchell Smith was arrested early Sunday morning by the Boone County Sheriff's Department and charged... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:45:00 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in Sports
CLAYTON (AP) — A St. Louis man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2012 police chase... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 23 2018 Sep 23, 2018 Sunday, September 23, 2018 8:27:14 AM CDT September 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – About one in 10 children are subject to sexual abuse, according to a local expert on the subject.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 11:18:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A water main break in MU's Hearnes Center early Saturday morning caused at least $100,000 worth of damage,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 7:17:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department responded to shots fired at a McDonald's located at 303 S. Business 54 early... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 22 2018 Sep 22, 2018 Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT September 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
3pm 76°
4pm 77°
5pm 80°
6pm 79°