A frustrated Parkville Board of
Aldermen questioned Platte County Commissioners
Tuesday night as to why Parkville will be receiving
$10,000 less in sales tax revenue promised to
voters in 2004.
Platte County 1st District Commissioner
Tom Pryor and 2nd district commissioner Jim Plunkett
were on hand for the aldermens bi-weekly
meeting to discuss why a 3/8 cent sales tax collected
for county transportation projects may yield almost
$10-15 million less than originally projected
and reducing monies allocated for road projects
of incorporated cities and towns in Tax Increment
Financing (TIF) districts.
This was a present
left to us by our predecessors, Pryor said.
There was gross overestimating as to how
much money would be collected by this tax. Initially,
the calculations were made on a projected 5 percent
sales tax increase. In all actuality, 11 percent
is what was used (in the calculations). The other
issue here is costs of the other road projects
like Humphreys Bridge were underestimated
Humphreys Bridge was originally
projected to cost the county around $800,000.
By the time of its completion earlier this year,
the amount ballooned to over $2 million. The effect
of such unexpected costs takes the million-plus
difference and subtracts it from monies to be
distributed between other unincorporated projects
and municipalities such as Parkville. As a result,
Parkville may have to cut out the repair of damaged
roads from its budget.
Mayor Kathy Dusenbery asked the
commissioners why such drastic hikes in the cost
were approved to build a bridge many dont
use or know exists.
I took a tour and found
Humphreys bridge, Dusenbery said.
It goes off to nowhere.
Were getting short-changed
because the bridge is coming off the top and our
portion of the revenue isnt what it was
before, said Alderman Marvin Ferguson. Thats
not the commitment we made to the residents of
Parkville back when the 3/8 campaign was going
As the discussion began to escalate,
so did the aldermens frustration with being
limited in having say in county affairs.
We were provided the rules
of the tax increase, said Alderman Marc
Sportsman. Now, only a year or two into
it, we hear, oh you have a TIF district
and youre going to be penalized for that.
I find it difficult to believe that any citizen,
whether in an unincorporated area or a municipality
being pleased with funding a $2.4 million bridge
that goes nowhere.
We had no say in this. Whenever
we wanted to tell the county what we thought should
be fixed, we had to almost petition them. Then
some grand pooh-bah say this ones
ok, that ones not ok. And then you
guys go out and decide whats best for the
county. The overestimating of the tax revenue
your predecessors did doesnt bother me.
Its how its being handled now.
Mayor Dusenbery requested that
when mathematical mistakes occur, the county alert
smaller cities at a time when monetary errors
can be budgeted in advance.
We need this information
when we do our budgets in October, she said,
which is the same time you all do yours.
We need to know then, not after the fact.
Pryor assured the mayor county
plans would be done on the commissions schedule,
Thats just when we
do those projections, he said. "So
thats when its going to be made available
to you. Thats how things kind of work. I
dont want this to sound rude, but even though
Parkville is a big part of it, all of Platte County
is what I take into consideration.
Tensions peaked when Alderman
Dave Rittman pointed out the people of Parkville
took all of Platte County into consideration when
their voters helped fund the road master plan,
and questioned if Parkville would benefit at all
Is there any single project
in the city of Parkville that is going to be funded
by this tax? he said.
When you guys overlaid
Jones-Meyer, I got calls about that, he
Rittman asked again to no avail.
The projects that you see
on those maps are what we are focusing on,
Rittman asked a third time.
Let me go back to
Pryor began to say when Alderman Dave McCoy interjected.
Can we get an answer please?
Im tired of all the dancing around it. Is
there a project in Parkville thats going
to be funded by the tax or not?
Do you see one on the sheet?
When the answer came back no
from several aldermen, Plunkett replied, Ok
Rittman tried one last time to
clarify if anything would be done to restore citizens
confidence in getting what they ask for.
So is it safe to say that
you as current county commissioners would not
return the budget formula back to the way it was
represented to our voters?
No, sir, said Plunkett.
Rittman completed the discussion
by telling the commissioners that the aldermen
and the county had worked on many projects together
in the past, and not to view them as the enemy.
Im not your problem,
Im not your problem
either, said Plunkett.
But our voters are,