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Sales tax could go up in a portion of Platte City

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

A slight sales tax increase appears to be on the way for a portion of Platte City.

Platte City's Board of Aldermen approved a resolution to expand the boundary of the Platte Valley Plaza Transportation Development District (TDD) and increase the sales tax within the district by 1/8 cent.

The TDD petitioned the Circuit Court of Platte County for approval to expand the boundaries and increase the sales tax. Aldermen approved a notice of no objection to the petition with a vote of 5-1.

According to city officials, Price Chopper is not in the TDD, but rather inside of a Community Improvement District (CID).

The TDD expansion will envelope several properties, including the Platte County Board of Elections and NW Audio, National Bank of Kansas City, Platte City-Airport Chrysler dealership, and a strip of shops along Platte Falls Road including El Maguey restaurant. The strip of shops that includes the China Wok restaurant and a nail salon is also included in the TDD.

Since being established in March of 2007, the TDD has funded improvements to Running Horse Road, Platte Falls Road, and Kentucky Avenue. The majority of the improvements were made between 2008 and 2010.

According to a staff report from D.J. Gehrt, city administrator, the maximum sales tax allowed within the TDD is one cent. The sales tax is currently at 7/8 cent and the increase will bring the tax to the maximum allowable.

The proposed boundary change and sales tax increase is anticipated to increase TDD annual revenue by around $10,000.

By the terms of the TDD agreement, 37% of TDD net revenue is used to fund payment of TDD Series B debt owned by the city.

While the sales tax will go up, the petition will not increase the property tax in the TDD.

After the meeting Tony Paolillo, alderman, said he voted against the measure because of the tax increase.

“It's a struggling TDD and an increase will put more on the backs of residents,” said Paolillo.

Paolillo said the developer had gone directly to the court to ask for the sales tax increase and border expansion and therefore the city did not have much say in the matter.

In the past the city has occasionally been at odds with Bill Mann, the main developer in the TDD.

The TDD was established in 2007 and sought funding for improvements in the district in 2008, but initial funding vanished at the last minute because of the economic downturn. The TDD scrambled to put together funding and eventually moved forward with improvements.

Sales tax generation for the TDD has also underperformed in the past with Platte City having to budget to cover any shortfalls on bonds which began in 2011.

According to a search of Missouri court records the TDD has petitioned the court in 2008 and 2013 to expand the borders of the district.

The notice of no objection was approved by the board of aldermen and will be sent to the circuit court.