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Tax renewal may be on the April ballot

The Board of Aldermen had the first reading of two ordinances to place existing sales taxes slated to sunset, on the April ballot. Here are the ordinances.

4. FIRST Reading: Bill No. 6339-13, Section III-A-9. AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING SUBMISSION AT THE GENERAL MUNICPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD APRIL 8, 2014 TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF RAYTOWN, MISSOURI, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE CITY SHALL IMPOSE A SALES TAX IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE-HALF (1/2) CENT FOR THE FUNDING OF TRANSPORTATION PURPOSES AND IMPOSING SUCH TAXES IF APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF THE QUALIFIED VOTERS VOTING THEREON. Point of Contact: Mark Loughry, Finance Director.

5. FIRST Reading: Bill No. 6340-13, Section III-A-9. AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING SUBMISSION AT THE GENERAL MUNICPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD APRIL 8, 2014 TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF RAYTOWN, MISSOURI, THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE CITY SHALL IMPOSE A SALES TAX IN THE AMOUNT OF THREE-EIGHTHS (3/8) CENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND IMPOSING SUCH TAXES IF APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF THE QUALIFIED VOTERS VOTING THEREON. Point of Contact: John Benson, Development & Public Affairs Director.

Here is part of a report by Mark Loughry, Finance Director containing references to these taxes.

The City first passed the Transportation Sales Tax and Capital Sales Tax in November of 2002. At that time, the Board established this committee to provide increased accountability to the voters on how money is spent from these two sales taxes. Later, after the approval of the Public Safety Sales Tax, this committee began reviewing expenditures of the Public Safety Sales Tax as well.

The role of this committee is to review and confirm on an annual basis that money from the transportation sales tax, the capital sales tax, and the Public Safety Sales Tax is in fact spent for the purposes identified during the election to approve these sales tax initiatives. The committee meets on a quarterly basis to perform this review.

This year the Transportation Sales Tax generated approximately $1,036,000 in revenue and funded just over a $1,000,000 in transportation related projects. Some of the items funded in 2012 include the Metroflex Bus, the replacement of over 1,200 feet of curb and 1,800 linear feet of sidewalk. The City also put down nearly 4,700 tons of asphalt and repaired 141,000 square feet of asphalt streets. In order to fund a similar amount of projects utilizing property taxes would require the additional levy of $.33 per $100 dollars of valuation.

This year the Capital Sales Tax generated approximately $815,000 in revenue and funded just over $1,400,000 in capital expenditures. Some of the items funded in 2012 include heavy equipment for public works, police vehicles, technology purchases and the continued payment of the lease on the salt barn. The largest single expenditure involved the replacement of the 911 Console and emergency radio upgrade. The Capital Sales Tax Fund covered approximately $460,000 of the total project cost of $1,224,499 for this planned expenditure. In order to fund a similar amount of projects utilizing property taxes would require the additional levy of $.49 per $100 dollars of valuation.

Editorial Content:

These are not new taxes, they are renewals of existing taxes. The ballot that these renewals will be on is already going to be held for the charter issue, so there will not be an additional election cost to Raytown.  Having these renewals on the ballot insures 2 things… 

1. That if the renewals fail, there will be time to plan on how to adjust the city budget to take into account lost income. 
2. That there will not be a need to pay for a special election at a date when an election is not already scheduled

If you want the services these taxes provide, then vote for the renewal.  If you do not care about the services these taxes pay for and do not care if these services are provided for others, then vote against the renewal. There are no free lunches, if you want more potholes fixed,  you have to pay the cost. 

Michael N. Downing

 

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