State of City address previews summer budget talks

Columbia state of city address

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Matthes applauded the work of city staff the past few years to balance the general revenue fund.

Some of those steps also included employees waiting longer for raises, and police and firefighters taking less generous pensions.

Now, some of those pay increases are coming back.

Matthes said city employees across the board will receive a raise.

Matthes cited a "natural growth" in the city's revenue.As the city's population has grown, so has the amount gathered through sales tax and other fees.

Matthes also outlined what the council will focus on in this summer's budget talks.

"We have enough revenue to keep what we have to get through the year and accomplish our mission. But our focus will be, more intently, to close the gap in infrastructure funding, and exploring how we grow our commitment to community police and transit," said Matthes.

As for securing that money, Matthes said a proposed property tax increase may be inevitable.

That would fund improvements to the city's aging sewer lines.

Next year, Columbians can also expect a fine increase for parking and speeding tickets, which will help pay for 3 new police officers.

Matthes also mentioned the city's reliance on the sales tax and how online shopping has limited how much the city brings in.

He'll be looking at ways to get some of that money back this summer.

The city must pass a budget for fiscal year 2015 this September.  

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