THAYER - Ron Cornelius represented the Thayer Community Betterment Association (TCBA) at the Jan. 10 Thayer City Council meeting. He said he was more than disappointed by the reaction of the Thayer City Council last week to his committee's request to place a 1-cent sales tax on the spring election ballot.
Cornelius, on behalf of the TCBA, asked the council to place the tax on the ballot as a way to generate revenue to hire an economic developer for the city at the meeting. The committee proposed doing away with the personal property and real estate tax in the city and replace it with the 1-cent sales tax.
Alderman Fern Hickinbotham said she thought it was too soon to place the issue on the ballot again.
Alderman Steve Alford echoed her concerns. Alderman Buddy Rogers said he would refrain from commenting because his sister, Janice Tolar, is employed as tax collector for the city. Alderman Bob Grimes was not present at the meeting.
The TCBA first approached the council Aug. 9, 2005, to inquire about the procedure to get a tax issue on the Thayer ballot.
At the request of the TCBA, on Oct. 8 the council passed a resolution that would allow a half-cent sales tax to be placed on the Nov. 8 election ballot. At that meeting, Thayer Mayor Allen Deckard said he and the board of aldermen agreed the residents of the community should make the decision about the tax and said they would support the decision made by the voters when it went to the polls.
In November the tax issue failed 199 to 115. After the tax failed, TCBA President Bob Eckman said he was not sure if the committee would approach the council again about placing the issue on the ballot. They decided in January they would try it again but use a little different approach.
"I don't understand why the council would not allow the citizens to make the choice on the issue," Cornelius said Jan. 13. "This is totally different than the sales tax that was run on the November ballot."
He said if the 1-cent tax would have passed it would have generated $340,000 a year in the city.
"This would have only improved the quality of life for the citizens of Thayer. By doing away with the personal property tax, residents would not be penalized for owning property like houses, cars, boats and other possessions," Cornelius said.
Thayer City Tax Collector Janice Tolar said for this year she expects to collect approximately $54,883.23 in real estate taxes and $16,800.35 in personal property taxes plus "add-ons" that come in every year. Tolar explained that add-ons are when people do not fill out their assessment sheet and are not on the tax book. She said she adds them one at a time as they come in to pay their taxes.
In other Thayer City Council action, Gary Barton announced that the city has four metal street light poles for sale for $50 each. Anyone interested in purchasing one of the poles can do so by calling Thayer City Hall.
Because Alderman Bob Grimes was sick and not at the meeting, the council decided to wait until the February council meeting to vote on ordinance 983 which would name Gary Barton city administrator. The council voted to re-adopt city ordinance 964. This ordinance allows the city to not participate in the annual sales tax holiday in the state. They also discussed their mutual aid agreement with the Missouri Public Utility Alliance. Mayor Deckard explained that this is if the city should be involved in some type of disaster, MPUA would send crews to the city to assist.
Thayer-Mammoth Spring Saddle Club representatives Geneva Bernard and Ashley Forester were at the meeting to ask the council if the rodeo arena could be used for the Kelly Circus that would be coming to the area in the spring. The ladies told the council the circus would need a little more room than the area allowed at just the arena. The council agreed the club could use the arena and some more space for the circus if the circus insurance is up to date.