The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

October 19, 2012

Joplin chalks up record sales tax year; city officials predict decline next year

Joplin’s sales tax proceeds hit a record peak despite predictions that they could reach a new low as a result of the 2011 tornado damage.

The 1-cent tax for the city’s general fund exceeded the previous high-water marks by more than $500,000, amounting to a total of $12,875,335 for the city’s current fiscal year. That exceeds the $12,297,228 for last fiscal year by about $578,000, and tops the previous highest total of $12,340,487 in 2008.

The $12,875,335 total represents “the biggest year we’ve ever seen, but I think that’s to be expected with the rebuilding going on,” said Leslie Jones, the city’s finance director. “We do not expect future years to be like that, and the last four months have been coming down.” Collections for the past four months were down about $265,000 from a year ago.

City officials set the budget estimate for collections this fiscal year at $11,191,000, a 1 percent decrease over the previous year, believing that a post-tornado boost from rebuilding and visiting volunteers could play out.

City Manager Mark Rohr, in submitting his 2013 budget, projects that downturn for 2013. The upcoming fiscal year of sales tax proceeds is budgeted at $12 million.

“The post-tornado spike in sales-tax revenue growth has made it difficult to develop meaningful trends to predict these revenues,” he wrote in his letter of transmittal of the proposed budget to the City Council. “I have utilized projections at a level slightly more than the baseline year of 2010 for this document. Research on other communities experiencing similar disasters and consultations with those involved in the local retail industry suggest a leveling off of the revenue spike.”

The tax provides 10 percent of the city’s general fund revenue, with the city’s additional sales taxes providing a total making up about another 17 percent. Those are the transportation sales tax and the public safety sales tax, each budgeted at 5.4 percent; the capital projects sales tax, 4.1 percent; and the parks and stormwater sales tax, 2.7 percent.

Tax collections

In addition to the general fund, Joplin’s other sales tax proceeds for the fiscal year:

Half-cent public safety tax — $6,425,980, up about $285,000.

Half-cent transportation sales tax — $6,437,659, up about $285,000.

Quarter-cent parks and stormwater tax — $3,214,114, up about $140,000.

Three-eighths cent capital projects tax — $4,821,901, up about $220,000.


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May 2011 Joplin tornado
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    June 11, 2014

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    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

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    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

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    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

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    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

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    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

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    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

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