Weston • Platte County • Missouri

County Government at Work

Beth McPherson, Editor

  Opinion and Local

TIf you want a short course in how taxes are collected and spent, tune in to the County’s new County Sales Tax Structure Advisory Committee documents and minutes.
At the suggestion of David Park, all the documents they study will probably be on the county’s web site.
When you go to  https://www.co.platte.mo.us/  click on “Commission Calendar & Session Items. It will take you to links for the calendar or the Upcoming session agenda with document links. Where the documents will turn up is still to be determined.
We’ll be interested to see an actual agenda in the future. The meeting Monday had only boiler-plate wording about how the committee was going to have a discussion. Should be more than that in the future.
There are a lot of moving pieces in taxes collected in Platte County. The County Collector takes in property taxes for a variety of government bodies, most of which are NOT under the direction of the County Commission.
When you get your property tax bill, you might think the county takes in an enormous amount of money. In reality, the largest amount goes to your school district. The school board sets the levy, and the County Commission has nothing to say about it.
Same situation for the Fire and Ambulance Districts, Special Road Districts, the State Blind Pension Fund, Health Department, Board of Services for the Developmental Disabled, Mental Health, Mid-Continent Public Library, Senior Citizen Levy, or cities.
Commissioners do have a ministerial duty to put tax issues on the ballot, as they found out when Mid-Continent Public Library wanted to put a levy increase to the vote of the people (and won their case in court).
The only property taxes they set at this time are for the County General Revenue (6¢) the Platte County Drainage District 1 and County Road & Bridge.
In 2020, they will be able to decide if they will put a Parks  Sales Tax on the ballot (it has a 10 year sunset) and if they portion it out for addition uses. two years after that, if they put the Roads Sales tax on the ballot.

Below is an excerpt from Beth's editorial from this week.  The entire editorial may be found in this week's print copy of the Weston Chronicle or online here.