Columbia city leaders say there is a lack of revenue
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council members said the city has reached a financial tipping point and now they have until the end of September to finalize the 2019 budget.
On Monday, city leaders met for their first work session. They discussed a wide range of topics from sales tax revenue to community policing
In the FY 2019 Budget presentation it said "This FY 2019 budget is defined by a lack of revenue. Our ability to balance the expectations of a “full service city” with our ability to pay for those services has reached the tipping point."
Mayor Brain Treece said he was happy with some of the questions that came up.
"I thought there were some good questions this morning about whether we should anticipate a two percent drop in sales tax revenue. Other cities are experiencing a two percent increase in sales tax revenue," Treece said.
Treece said it's about making sure the public is confident in the budget.
City Manager Mike Matthes said he wants to talk to the legislature about sales tax.
"That the legislature would just consider online transactions as sales and then for subject to sales tax," Matthes said.
Another item that was addressed at the meeting was community policing.
Treece said we need to be creative and find ways to enhance our community policing.
"One of those would be to provide take home cars for those officers. It's important to me that, that's a voluntary expenditure on the part of those officers. But it would really help extend that police officers presence in that neighborhood," Treece said.
Mike Trapp shared one scenario to help improve policing.
"Buying a house in each of those four areas providing a take home car for an officer that would be interested, that would be about $200,000 with four areas so we would combine those two items into an $800,000 item," Trapp said.