Columbia residents could pay more in property tax and sewer utility rates

5 months 15 hours 42 minutes ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:46:00 PM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
By: David Estrada, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA – City council approved two public hearings in August to discuss possible increases to the property tax and sewer rates.

The public hearing on the property tax rate will be on August 6 at 7:00 p.m. in City Hall, and the one regarding the increase in sewer utility rate will be on August 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the same location.

The Property Tax Increase

Ward 2 Council Member Michael Trapp said the increase in property tax would provide a stable and growing source of revenue, which is necessary due to the "critical financial state" of the city.

"The city has the lowest property tax of any city in the state of Missouri that has a police force," he said. "We've been primarily funded by sales tax. In the 1980s we traded away our property tax for an increase in sales tax. Sales tax is not performing because of online purchases, which has left us in a terrible financial position."

Trapp said the increase would be of two cents per 100 dollars of assessed valuation.

Skala said it would not be a "wise political thing to do" for the council to approve that change in property tax.

"The fact that we can increase the property tax is one thing, but should we is another thing entirely, and I don't think we should without running this by a public discussion and having perhaps even a public referendum," he said.

Trapp said a ballot proposal would require more time and money to get done compared to a proposal approved by the council.

"The delay would not allow us to put it in this year’s budget, so we would not be able to budget those funds," he said. "We also would not be receiving them, so we are in a position where we are not going to be able to do significant raises or bring new parts of the city under the normative response time that both Mr. Skala and I enjoy."

Trapp also said the city would have to do layoffs and cutbacks in services if the city does not transition to a more stable source of revenue than sales tax. 

"Sales tax at first wasn’t keeping up with population growth and it wasn't keeping up with inflation," he said, "Now, it's not keeping up with either of those things. It’s not even staying constant in real dollars, it’s in actual decline."

Skala said the council was already analyzing possible changes to property tax but in different terms.

He said the council should include the two cents increase in that already existing proposal rather than discussing it separately.

"We are considering in the long term a property tax increase specifically dedicated to public safety, salaries and so on for police and fire, perhaps some new officers and some new firefighters," he said.

The Increase in Sewer Utility Rates

The city council also gave a green light to a hearing on a one percent increase in sewer utility rates.

Skala said he is "fully on board" with that proposal.

"We agreed on this some time back for connection fees to increase sewer rates so that we could start to pay for the infrastructure that's necessary for new growth capacity," he said. "I think that fits with the equity issues that we have tried to promote in this community in terms of our strategic plan that is those people that are invested in a particular piece of infrastructure ought to pay for the privilege of connecting with that infrastructure."

In 2013, voters approved a revenue bond package that allowed Columbia to borrow money to invest in different projects.

Trapp said the city administration would use the resources from the increase in sewer utility rates to pay back the funds borrowed through the November 2013 bond.  

Trapp said "80% of the sewer ballot went towards remediation of the existing system. So, it's been important projects, we've seen a lot of reductions of our inflow and infiltration."

Most recently, officials approved an increase in sewer utility rates last year, according to Columbia Community Relations Specialist Patricia Weisenselder.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – After a life-threatening accident 17 years ago, a Columbia man is proving you never have to give up... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 12:46:00 PM CST December 16, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri assistant football coach was arrested Saturday on an out of county warrant. According... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 10:12:00 AM CST December 16, 2018 in Sports
FULTON - Two people were arrested on various drug charges Sunday morning. According to a release, Police stopped a... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, December 16 2018 Dec 16, 2018 Sunday, December 16, 2018 7:08:00 AM CST December 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Symphony will play holiday music Sunday for the Symphony of Toys concert. Students in the Missouri... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:45:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - People gathered at Hickman High School on Saturday to celebrate holidays from several cultures. KOPN Community Radio... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:10:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College had a special moment during the graduation ceremony Saturday to honor a student who died in... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Diocese confirmed Saturday three people were added to its list of clergy accused of... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:31:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police made an arrest in connection to Saturday afternoon's shooting in the 3800 block of Aspen Heights... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 4:40:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Capitol has recently completed an effort to restore and conserve the building's... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 3:26:00 PM CST December 15, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Anyone walking around Boonville might be able to play a game of "I spy" now that painted rocks... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 10:50:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- High school football teams from around the state will travel to Memorial Stadium for the next five years to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 9:41:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in Sports
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke , who's facing federal investigations into his travel, political... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 8:53:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - The Southern Boone Area YMCA will build a new 15,714 square-foot facility in the next two years, if... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:48:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are looking for a man who is suspected of fleeing to Missouri after officers shot... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:12:00 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A former county official from southeast Missouri already in prison on a conviction of exploiting the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 15 2018 Dec 15, 2018 Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:09:52 AM CST December 15, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department has offered to include New Bloomfield in its coverage area for the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - A new report released Friday ranks Missouri 48th in the nation for tobacco use prevention programs. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
3pm 54°
4pm 52°
5pm 48°
6pm 45°