Columbia's revenue falling short in fiscal 2020
COLUMBIA - A declining revenue has Columbia City Council generating ideas to increase utility rates and raise taxes in attempt to bring in more income for fiscal 2021.
On Monday, May 18, the council met in a pre-council work-session to attempt to find solutions to stabilize revenue. City staff is projecting a 10% decline in sales tax revenue this year. The council had originally budgeted for a 2.5% decrease.
The presentation says it looks to create more of a balance between sales and property tax revenue. The ideas varied:
- Approve a use tax to allow the city to tax internet purchases.
- A new sales or property tax to fund public safety.
- Increasing city property tax to help pay for public health services.
"With respect to a use tax, I think we finally have the framework for a potential agreement in the future with some of the constituencies and decision makers in Jeff City," said Columbia Mayor Brian Treece.
Mayor Treece is confident in state lawmakers to come up with solutions before the city puts out a new tax in front of voters.
"I would like to postpone the discussion of a property tax and sales tax until at least 21 and give the legislature either the summer in a special session or a September special session to pass that used tax," said Treece.
The work session marks the beginning steps in the fiscal 2021 budgeting process. The city charter requires that City Manager John Glascock issue a proposed budget by late July. The council then will hold a series of work session and public hearings before approving a budget in September.
The council did not vote on the budget Monday night, but will at a further date once a final version of the budget draft is completed.