Police Chief Don Melton announced Monday that the state has recently set 15 mph as the speed limit for all of Main Street through downtown.

City ends fiscal year exceeding projections for sales tax collections

Webb City ended the 2021 fiscal year on Oct. 31 by easily exceeding its conservative budget projections for sales tax revenue.

For example, receipts from the 1-cent tax for the general fund had been budgeted at $1,899,515, while actual receipts total $2,210,825 ($311,310 over budget). The 2021 receipts exceeded the 2020 receipts ($2,053,242) by $157,583 (7.67%).

Increases for the city’s four lesser sales taxes.

Of the $.0795 sales tax collected on purchases in Webb City, $.025 goes to the city.

More difficult to estimate, the local use tax (same as the combined city sales tax of $.025) is also continuing an upward trend. This year’s receipts of $505,022 were $104,286 (26.02%) greater than last year’s ($400,736). The budgeted amount was $348,246.

Mayor Lynn Ragsdale said the city is fortunate to have been a relatively early adopter of the local use tax and that Carthage and Joplin have used Webb City’s as a model while getting their use taxes approved. 

Joplin voters approved a use tax last week, and Carthage voters gave their approval in August.

Webb City’s first attempt to pass a use tax was in 2013. That was after a judge had determined the state and cities couldn’t legally collect a tax on out-of-state vehicle sales without a use tax.

Jasper County and seven cities in the county, including Webb City, sought voter approval for use taxes. There was a big campaign, backed by chambers of commerce. Yet, the proposals were all defeated, by as much as 86% against in Oronogo. 

Strangely, Carterville voters had quietly approved a use tax in 1998.

Webb City went back to the voters, without a big campaign, in August of 2017 and received a 55% majority in favor of the local use tax.

Fiscal year 2019 was the first full year of use tax receipts for the city. It brought in $338,103 that year.

The city’s overall financial position is better than ever. Jerry Fisher (3rd Ward) pointed out that the city’s balance, as of September, has nearly reached $9 million.

Below are tax receipts tables prepared for the city council by Financial Administrator Tracy Craig and Treasurer Lisa Gipson’s latest report.

Also on the council’s short agenda Monday was the approval of Police Chief Don Melton’s request to purchase two new SUVs.

Joe Machen Ford, which has the state contract, bid $35,585 apiece for the two Ford all-wheel-drive SUVs. The total price of $71,170 will be reduced by $9,000 in exchange for two of the department’s high-mileage trade-ins. Republic Ford submitted a better bid for the new vehicles but did not offer to accept the trade-ins.

The total cost, $62,470, including $300 for delivery, is somewhat higher than Melton he put in his budget request for $60,000.

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