By Debby Woodin
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A House committee on Wednesday gave a “do pass” recommendation on a bill intended to clarify state law on tax-stacking, which resulted in a lawsuit last year against the city of Joplin.
“This is an issue that is near and dear to the citizens of Joplin,” City Attorney Brian Head testified before the Special Standing Committee on General Laws at the state Capitol.
A lawsuit aimed at knocking out Joplin’s half-cent public safety sales tax or its 1-cent general fund sales tax was filed in July by a Farmington attorney and former state legislator, alleging that the city had violated state law by imposing more than one general tax.
The attorney, Tom Burcham, filed lawsuits against a few small cities before aiming for Joplin, including Purdy, Mount Vernon and Granby. Burcham has since said he will not press forward with the lawsuits, saying he would dismiss the actions to allow the Legislature to resolve the issue.
Burcham had contended that state law authorized cities to enact only one general sales tax and one capital projects sales tax. He sued the other cities for enacting multiple capital projects taxes, and Joplin for enacting the public safety tax, which is formally a general sales tax.
While Burcham contended that he filed the lawsuits in the interests of taxpayers who did not know that the technicalities of the law did not permit multiple taxes in those categories, he drew fire from critics affiliated with the Missouri Municipal League, who said his quest was intended to build a class-action lawsuit that would win him a big paycheck.
The legislation being proposed would allow cities to have more than one general sales tax and more than one capital projects tax, the House committee was told Wednesday. State law regarding the establishment of sales taxes earmarked for transportation projects, economic development, fire protection, and parks and stormwater projects are clearly specific in establishing limits on those taxes, unlike the state law on the two taxes at issue.
By Debby Woodin
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
Nixon visits Joplin to sign breast density bill
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation at Freeman Hospital on Tuesday that will require radiologists in Missouri to provide information about breast density on post-mammogram reports.
Defendant draws 10 years for assault of ex-girlfriend
A Jasper County judge today sentenced a rural Joplin man to 10 years in prison for an assault on an ex-girlfriend with a walking stick that left one of her eyes detached from its socket.
Rural Joplin child dies from gunshot wound to head
A 3-year-old girl died Monday at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Freeman Health Systems after suffering a gunshot wound to the head. The incident occurred at the child's home in rural Joplin, said Sheriff Ken Copeland.
Suspect in coach's slaying posts bond
Jeffrey Bruner posted bond shortly before noon today and was released from the Jasper County Jail in Carthage.
Downtown group warns about Third Thursday mail scam
Officials with the Downtown Joplin Alliance on Friday announced that a mail scam involving Third Thursday has been discovered.
PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.
The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.
PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.
In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents
Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.
Joplin voters reject all three charter changes
The changes were placed on the ballot by the City Council acting upon recommendations by a Charter Review Commission that met last fall.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81