Council receives update on sales tax

Thursday, April 21, 2011
Council members take oath Democrat Photo Kelly Paul, Cassville city clerk, swore in Jeff Parsons, south ward alderman, Bill Hill, north ward alderman, and Tracy Holle, mayor, during the Cassville City Council's regularly scheduled meeting on April 18. Pictured above, from left, are: Parsons, Hill and Holle.

On April 18, the Cassville City Council received an update on sales tax revenue from Darelyn Cooper, city finance officer. The city's current sales tax revenue is down nearly 3 percent when compared to last year's totals.

In January, sales tax was down less than 1 percent. In February, that number decreased further to negative 1.2 percent. Sales tax took a huge hit last month when sales tax revenue fell over 19 percent below the amount of funding the city received in March of 2010.

"I know the rates have been jumping around," said Cooper. "In April, we were up 9.8 percent. We are 2.8 percent below what we saw the prior year, and we budgetted to be down 1 percent (from last year)."

Currently, the city's revenue is 1.8 percent or $9,266.12 below budgeted revenue.

"I recently attended a government finance officers meeting," said Cooper. "At the meeting people were wondering why the sales tax revenue is moving around so much. Some of the cities are still down more than we are."

Cooper learned that due to the shut-down of government offices during this year's snowstorm and recent decreases in staff, sales tax revenue allocations have been delayed.

"We were told that they just completed February in total," said Cooper. "They believe it will be two more months before they are caught up because they are so far behind.

"We don't know how this is going to impact our sales tax revenue," said Cooper. "It might not impact them at all but even being down 2.8 percent for the year is not unreasonable."

Cooper also reported that she learned at the meeting that government officials expect revenue to remain down for one more year before a major economic rebound occurs.

Lynette Dilbeck, economic development director, reported that five out of seven southern Barry County cities have approved the Barry County Enhanced Enterprise Zone resolution that Cassville adopted on April 4.

Washburn became the sixth city to approve the resolution when Washburn Council members voted on the issue Monday night. The City of Purdy plans to take up the issue at an upcoming council meeting.

Eugene Dilbeck, city administrator, reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for an annexation request and a rezoning request. The hearing will be held on May 5.

Bill Larecy, owner of Bill's Appliances in Cassville, has requested annexation for his business property. The rezoning request, which was made by Flat Creek Properties, will rezone the area behind the Barry County Health Department, Flat Creek X-Press Lube and ReMax Flat Creek Realty from residential to commercial.

Dilbeck also reported that he will present the aldermen with a proposal for a stormwater study at the next council meeting. The city hopes to secure a $10,000 grant to help pay for the $25,000 study.

In other business, Cassville City Council:

* Heard that the city will host focus groups for the DREAM Initiative on Thursday and Friday.

*Approved a contract with Data Protect for off-site backup solutions.

* Reappointed Mike Schlichtman and Joe Cavness to the Cassville Airport Advisory Board.

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