The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 19, 2013

City Manager: CID owes Neosho $158,257

By Roger McKinney
rmckinney@joplinglobe.com

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Big Spring Plaza Community Improvement District owes Neosho $158,257, City Manager Troy Royer told the Neosho City Council on Tuesday.

Royer had filed an open-records request under the Missouri Sunshine Law with officers of the CID he could identify, which he had said wasn’t easy.

The city council formed the CID in 2006. The five property owners in the district approved a 20-year, 1-cent sales tax and became the board of directors for the independent political subdivision. Tax revenues were used to build a road to a strip mall on the south side of the Wal-Mart parking lot.

The CID was inside an already existing tax increment financing, or TIF, district. The city had an agreement with the TIF district that the city would be reimbursed half of any new tax revenue in the district. The city had received no money from the CID since it began collecting revenue.

Royer said the CID sales tax total since 2006 is $316,513.

City Attorney Steve Hays said the money is involved in a legal dispute between the CID board and the developer, who the board members had made the board chairman. He said the city should send a bill to the CID.

“We can’t get blood from a turnip, but we can squeeze and we may get something,” he said. “We’re kind of in a little bit of limbo.”

Councilman Steve Hart said because there has been no oversight, taxpayers were the victims.

“It’s just a bad deal for the taxpayers,” Hart said.