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Legality of local use tax being challenged in court

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

A judge’s ruling in a current case in the Missouri Supreme Court may make a direct economic impact to the Platte County government.

During Presiding Commissioner Betty Knight’s unscheduled comments at last Thursday’s county commission meeting, she commented that a St. Louis company is challenging the local use tax, stating that they are not taxed equally because each local entity has a different local use tax.

“If the local use tax is found to be an illegal tax, this could be devastating for us,” said Knight.

“Last year we took in $3.5 million alone in local use tax. This decision could be very serious for Platte County.”

Knight stated that a decision in the case is expected to be reached in the summer or early fall.

In other action, Planning and Zoning Director Aaron Schmidt presented the commission with a year-in-review of his department.

According to Schmidt, the large concentration of growth since the 1980’s has been located south of Platte City and to the west of Parkville.

Over the past 20 years, the number of single family dwelling has increased dramatically, with the largest growth spurt seen in 2000.

A graph, presented by Schmidt, showed exactly how much of a jump in single family dwelling permits occurred. In 1987, 98 single family permits were issued compared to 296 permits issued in 2004.

Schmidt also explained that the average lot size for a minor subdivision has increased from 2.71 in 1987 to 13.32 last year.

While the average lot size for a minor subdivision has increased, the average lot size of a major subdivision has decreased. In 1987 the lot size equated to 1.15 compared to the 2004 figure of .98.

Schmidt concluded his presentation by informing the commission that the growth in Platte County is not going to be slowing down, but instead staying on a fast track.

Currently south of Platte City, there are 620 existing lots. Schmidt reported there are 2,900 proposed lots expected in the future.

In other planning and zoning news, “weather conditions” may have been the key contributor to low building permit figures for the month of January, according to Gale Cantu of Planning and Zoning.

For January, Cantu reported that her office issued nine single family dwelling permits, with a total of 20 permits issued for the month. Total valuation for January equaled $2,064,614 in the unincorporated portion of the county.

The commission also heard three bids for construction of the public works building/community storm shelter. Three bids were received from: Bruner Contracting of Kansas City, Mo, Geiger Steel of Oak View, Mo, and Design Sense of Olathe, Ks.

Bids were also received for the purchase of new Ford vehicles for the sheriff’s department. Two bids were received from Thoroughbred Ford for $23,620.65, and Dennis Sneed Ford for $20,352.60.

Commissioners also rejected the one bid they received for the flooring at Shiloh Springs Golf Club and issued a new bid request with new specifications. The new bids will be due by 1:30 p.m. on March 3.

Second District Commissioner Jim Plunkett was appointed to the MARC Air Quality Forum effective immediately.




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