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Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2014

May 20, 2012

Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at 2:28 PM

May 20, 2012

The monthly scheduled city council meeting is tomorrow night. We will, as usual, discuss a number of topics. The most important, and least expected issue until recently, is the Malden city sales tax. The City of Malden has collected a sales tax to provide money for the general revenue for as long as I can remember. The tax rate is currently one and three quarters percent.

The Missouri Supreme Court decided a few months ago that city sales taxes as levied by municipalities were illegal. Cities have been collecting sales taxes for decades, but I assume the appropriate Supremes had not examined the basis for legality of the tax. Possibly the previous Supremes were of the Diana Ross variety. Anyway, every city is now in the position of waiting to see when and if their revenue stream is affected and for how long and how much.

The Missouri Legislature has entered the fray of the political argument. It's hard to say who is on whose side. There is the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." We didn't know the sales tax method was broken until the Supremes told us. Rather than restore the method that was used since the inception of sales taxes (or use taxes or whatever label we place on a tax) that adds a percentage to the cost of an item purchased, our legislature and governor are debating how to do it. It appears that the City of Malden will either approve or disapprove an ordinance tomorrow night that will set the general revenue sales tax rate at one and three quarters percent and that rate will be contingent upon the citizens of Malden giving their consent at the next election. The most immediate result is that the City of Malden will attempt to complete a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2012 and will not know when and if a large portion of expected revenue will be available.

Saturday, I attended the annual "Malden in May" event. There was a good crowd, and money was raised for good causes. I can recommend the barbecue from Steve Rackley and the chocolate covered strawberries from Anita Green. The highlight for me, and I'm sure many others, was the dedication of the bandstand in downtown Malden in honor of Narvel Felts. Narvel was, as always, very gracious, and he did sing for us. Narvel sang his own composition, FROM MEMPHIS TO MALDEN and when he was done I believe everyone knew the location of Narvel's heart and affections. Narvel will be playing the Rogers Theater in Poplar Bluff on June 2nd. I saw him there last summer and it was a complete sell out. I suggest you get your tickets as soon as possible. I believe his next closest performance will be at the Missouri State Fair in August.

I often hear people say, "Why doesn't Malden have.....?" You can fill in the question, but one common one is, "Why don't we have a farmers' market?" The City of Malden has done everything it can to make a farmers' market possible. The legislation has been approved to eliminate a business license, to waive collection of the sales tax (uh-oh), and to designate several areas for farmers' markets. All this was done several years ago. We now have a farmers' market thanks to Max Hilfiker of our community. People make things happen, and Max, as I believe everyone knows him, has built a great facility on Broadwater Road just east of Madison Street. He has scheduled a grand opening for the coming Memorial Day Weekend. If you want to buy or sell fresh produce stop by and lend your support to one of the things that people commonly ask for in Malden.

Please join us if you can at any of the city council meetings or the meetings of the various boards that keep our community functioning. If anyone is interested, there are openings on the Airport Board and the Park and Recreation Board. Please contact me if you are. Please come to any meeting and keep an eye on us because we will spend your money wisely or foolishly depending on your point of view. Have a safe Memorial Day!

The financial report is as follows:

May 11, 2012

Balance $1,388,390.41

Revenues $30,464.69

Expenses $17,586.31

May18, 2012

Balance $1,401,268.79



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