"Where's the BUDGET?" PB City Tax Hike Based on Non-existent 2015 Budget

Aug 17, 2014

According to the City of Poplar Bluff, a public hearing will be held on Monday, April 18 at 6:45pm to discuss:

The City Council of the City of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, will conduct a Public Hearing to receive citizens input relative to the property tax rates proposed to be set by the City Council of the City of Poplar Bluff, a political subdivision. The Tax Rate shall be set to produce the revenues, which the budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2015, show to be required from the property tax rate.

The Public Hearing specifically states that the need for this tax hike is based on “the budget for the fiscal year beginning Jan 1, 2015.” However, SEMO TIMES asked Mayor Pro Tem, Jack Rushin, if he has seen a 2015 Budget and he responded, “I have not.” When asked whether he was for or against the measure, Rushin stated that he’s had a lot of constituents contact him about this rate hike and none have been in favor of it. Rushin stated he’s told constituents that he is not in favor of the hike and he’d have to be provided much more information before persuaded that a tax increase is needed at this time.

The tax rate increase being discussed and proposed is a .0007 increase over the previous year. It would be hard for someone to actually notice the small increase on their tax bill, especially when compared to the upcoming school board bond increase approved by voters back in April.

When Mayor Pearson was asked about the tax increase she said, “Our citizens are taxed to the max and I cannot support any type of tax increase.”

In years past, the next year’s budget is prepared starting in October and approved as late as the last meeting of the year. SEMO TIMES is aware of no 2015 Budget being released to the public.

Mayor Pearson was asked if she has seen the 2015 Budget which this tax hike is based upon, she said, “No. I’ve seen no budget for next year.”