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.
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.
Three incumbents returned to Carl Junction posts
Voters in the Carl Junction area on Tuesday decided leadership positions on the Carl Junction School Board and City Council.
Two new faces, one incumbent win Joplin School Board seats
The top three vote-getters for open seats on the board were Debbie Fort, with 4,765 votes; Lynda Banwart, with 4,532 votes; and incumbent Randy Steele, with 3,300 votes, according to complete but unofficial results from Jasper and Newton counties.
Joplin voters reject curbside recycling
City voters in Jasper and Newton counties cast 3,835 "no" votes and 3,466 "yes" votes on the issue, according to complete but unofficial results.
Council votes to waive appeal of court order, release full investigation
The Joplin City Council voted 6-3 Thursday night to waive an appeal of Judge David Mouton's ruling ordering the city to disclose the Rohr report and witness testimony in a controversial council investigation.
UPDATE: Police release name of murder victim; autopsy scheduled
Police have identified the man murdered in his apartment at the Housing Authority of Joplin complex as Jerry D. Loflin.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81