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Sales tax dips in county, still up for year

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

MIKE McCOY-mmccoy@dailystatesman.com Stoddard County Commissioner Frank Sifford, at right, points to one of the concrete slabs that remains after a county building was demolished on Seneca Street in Bloomfield. The building formerly was used by Castor Township for administrative offices. The building is being demolished to provide a space for electrical improvements at the County Jail. Also shown is Danny Talkington.
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- Revenue from a sales tax in Stoddard County was down $6,595.60 for the month of September 2012 as compared to 2011, but overall revenue to the county is up $46,749.40 thus far for 2012. The report was presented to the Stoddard County Commission at its regular meeting held Tuesday due to the Columbus Day holiday on Monday. The county receives revenue from two one-half-cent sales taxes.

County Clerk Joe Watson said revenue to the county was approximately $87,000 ahead of budget projections.

Commissioner Frank Sifford said he was pleased that revenue was continuing to exceed projections. He warned that the county still has not felt the impact of a court ruling that struck down sales taxes on used vehicles and trailers and also on new cars purchased out-of-state. He said it would be some time before county officials would know how that ruling would affect sales tax revenue. The legislature passed a bill to restore the tax, but it was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon. Nixon said it would be implementing a new tax. One alternative is to levy a use tax, which the court said was legal. Stoddard County does not have a use tax.

Presiding Commissioner Greg Mathis told those present at the meeting that the old Castor Township building on Seneca Street in Bloomfield has been demolished. He said there is still some rubble to be cleared away. Sifford said three or four large dumpsters of debris had already been taken to the landfill.

The building is being torn down by Castor Township officials under the supervision of Mike Pullum. The building is owned by the county, but the township used the small building as an administrative office for many years. Due to the condition of the building, township officials received permission from the county to meet in the old courthouse in 2010. The building has been vacant since that time.

Commissioners are moving forward with a plan to erect a new transformer, transfer station and power supply to the County Jail. It also will be the site of a new generator for the jail. Commissioners elected to move to this expanded location to accommodate expansions at the jail.

Sifford said commissioners needed to look at the site and determine whether to remove a concrete retainer wall and some concrete pads at the old building site. He said some of these walls may be needed to prevent erosion. Sifford said he believed the retainer wall may be needed for this purpose, but the pads probably needed to be removed. The commission was to take a look at the site after its meeting.

Sifford reported that the county had received a billing for partial payment of engineering and construction costs of the new bridge on County Road 420 over Drainage Ditch #12. The contract for bridge construction was awarded to Chester Bross Construction at a cost of $343,418. The bridge is being paid for using Off-System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (BRO) funds.

Mathis asked how work was progressing on the bridge. Sifford said he was at the site two weeks ago. He said the pilings were driven and the concrete headers had been poured.

"I suspect that quite a bit was done this past week," Sifford said. "It should go pretty fast at this point."

The contract calls for work to conclude no later than Nov. 27, 2012.

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