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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri's employees have a significant impact on Columbia's sales tax revenue.

MU, MU Health and UM employees pay 42.2% of the sales tax revenue for Columbia's general fund budget. Of those employees, only about half of them total the city voting population.

According to Columbia Chamber of Commerce, about $23.7 million of the city general fund budget comes from sales tax and is used to fund the Police and Fire departments.

The university, which conducted the study, is the largest employer in Columbia. 

Fifth ward city council member Laura Nauser said, "When the university lays off staff or does not hire due to attrition then there are fewer people who have the ability to economically contribute to our city through their tax dollars. When our general revenue decreases we are unable to maintain the necessary city services our citizens expect."

With employment freezes and lower enrollment at MU, President of Columbia's Chamber of Commerce Matt McCormick said it is a patient process to see how this will affect the city.

"It's one of those things with time will tell as we continue to push through the process and we continue to work through everything that is going on and what that is going to mean for this next semester and school year," McCormick said. 

McCormick said this is the first time the university has done a study specifically on it's employees in regards to the community as a whole. Normally in the past studies have been done specifically on athletics and ticket sales with it's effect on the community. 

Nauser said MU's decisions and financial well being have a significant impact on the city and our tax revenues. 

The total payroll for MU, MU Health and UM employees living in Boone County is $871,008,323.