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McMullen: Let's get creative with city revenue-raisers

10 months 18 days 16 hours ago |148 Views | | | Email | Print

There are only a few weeks left in the city’s fiscal year and it looks like sales tax revenues will continue to be stagnant in the next financial period. City Administrator Gary Edwards has projected that sales tax revenues aren’t going to get better just because the dollar odometer will soon roll over.


And that’s great, right? The dastardly government would only waste our tax money anyhow!


The Libertarian-leaning among us are probably estatic about this news; the anarcists even more so. There are some people who think that if a government must exist that it should do so on as little tax revenue as possible.


But that’s a hard thing to say to an organization that draws more than half of its funding from sales taxes.


And it’s certainly a bad sign for the present and near future — a time when the local government is undertaking a number of ambitious infrastructural improvements. They’ve been clearing land for the new firehouse and making the final arrangements to fix the Washington Avenue bridge — it’s a terrible time for the city coffers to be running a little low.


I would hate to think that certain projects might have to sit half, or even less than half completed in the coming years because the money’s just not there.


And while you might not be 100 percent pleased with the job that is being done to dig Sedalia out from all this snow, the city couldn’t even do what they have done without using some of our money. Some people might be shocked to find out that they actually do use most of our tax money to the benefit the city and the people who live in it.


So with the fiscal new year quickly approaching, it might be time to have a fiscal new year’s resoultion.


We should resolve to spend more money right here in Sedalia — not just to help Sedalia businesses succeed and thrive, but to get Sedalia the revenue it needs to continue functioning as normal.


The variety of products available in old Sedville might surprise you, if you’d only look.


And while attempting to find alternative ways to fund society, I revisited the grand old Sedalia, Mo., Code of Ordinances. There’s a “City Fee Schedule” nestled in Appendix A full of potential fee-incurring actions that we haven’t been enforcing a whole lot.


• “False statements”


A lie patrol could assign fees practically at will! Just pick someone out of the phone book at random and fee them for a false statement. Chances are, they’ve given a false statement to someone over the past few days so their conscience will force them to pay up.


• “Illegal posting of garage sale signs”


When the garage sale season starts back up, the city could be rolling in the money: pretty much every garage sale sign that you’ve ever seen that wasn’t in someone’s yard or on their private property is technically illegal. Just roll up to the poles at 16th and Ohio or 16th and Ingram and make a list of addresses that are about to receive a $64 citation.


• “Clinging to moving vehicle”


All right, so this one won’t pay very often — but it is funny. Is this sort of thing common enough to require specific consideration? I think most of the time the consequences of clinging to a moving vehicle would be punishment enough.


• “Failure to keep right”


This could be applied to all non-Republicans, I suppose.


• “Driving over fire hose”


Those hoodlums love driving over my fire hose! Every time I lay it out in the street for a few days they come back and run over it. The sheer audacity! Soon their pocketbooks will be my hose and the city government will be their car and they’ll see what it is like to be left with a flat hose.


Maybe we just need to have a bake sale.


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