Fulton City Council holds off on resolution supporting Nixon's vetoes

The Fulton City Council tabled a resolution Tuesday night showing support of Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes of sales tax-related bills that could potentially cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars based on two different estimates.

The Missouri Department of Revenue first released numbers in May — before Nixon’s veto — of how much Missouri municipalities stand to lose if the legislation goes through. The city of Fulton, according to the department, would lose $388,843. The Missouri Legislative Research Department, a division of the General Assembly, combated that finding with its own, and Fulton would see a $244,000 deficit, according to City Administrator Bill Johnson.

The resolution specifically states opposition to Senate Bills 584, 693, 662, 612, 829, 727 and House Bill 1455 — all passed on the final day of session (May 16) with the exception of House Bill 1455, which was passed the day prior.

Councilman Mike West proposed tabling the resolution. He told the council Tuesday night he spoke with Rep. Jeanie Riddle who West said, “feels like the amount of money is being overstated,” adding that tabling the resolution would give the council and citizens more time to research information and contact legislators with concerns.

Johnson said $244,000 is “still a lot of money” for the city to lose.

Councilman Wayne Chailland said he also spoke with Riddle. He seconded West’s motion to table.

“I don’t want to lose $10,” Chailland said, but also felt tabling the resolution would give Riddle more time for explanation.

In Sunday’s edition of the Fulton Sun, Riddle wrote a letter to the editor in response to a letter by Mayor Leroy Benton that was published the week prior.

Benton’s letter stated the bills outlined special interest tax cuts that would harm the city’s ability to repay bonds for infrastructure improvements and eventually result in a water rate increase of 22 percent and sewer rate increase of 15 percent.

Riddle called Benton’s figures backed by Johnson “a knee-jerk reaction to erroneous information put forth by the Missouri Municipal League, their paid lobbyist with your taxpayer money.”

The resolution was tabled with five “yes” votes. Councilman Richard Vaughn and Councilwoman Mary Rehklau voted no and Councilman Steve Moore was absent.

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