HERMANN — Gasconade County Treasurer Mike Feagan is hoping September’s balance sheet amounts to only a bump in the road as county officials prepare to cobble together an operating budget …
HERMANN — Gasconade County Treasurer Mike Feagan is hoping September’s balance sheet amounts to only a bump in the road as county officials prepare to cobble together an operating budget for 2020.
If it’s more than that, the job of putting together a spending plan could be an arduous task for the various officeholders.
In presenting his monthly finance report to the County Commission, Feagan last Thursday noted that the bottom-line number for September was “significantly behind” the balance recorded for September 2018. In totaling the income and expenses posted in more than three dozen funds during the month, the balance sheet shows nearly $800,000 less in the bank at the end of September than for the same month a year ago — $1,740,239 compared to $2,523,032.
Feagan pointed to a couple factors that contribute to the difference: The purchase of a new grader by the Road Department and a downturn in sales tax revenue. While the equipment expense was planned for, the drop in sales tax dollars was not. And, as Feagan noted, there’s no easy way to make up for the shortfall in sales tax revenue. “We can't raise new revenue,” the treasurer said.
Indeed, at least not with the existing sources of revenue. Which explains the recent notice from Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel that he would seek a meeting with State Rep. Aaron Griesheimer to discuss the use-tax issue. Despite being turned down by voters repeatedly in recent years, county officials still see a use tax as a potential source of needed revenue.
Owensville Mayor John Kamler, who attended the Commission meeting to help introduce new City Administrator Bruce Samples to the county administrators, said county revenue should not take a noticeable hit from Walmart reducing its hours of operations. The retailer this month is closing its doors from 1 to 6 a.m., as are other area Walmart stores. “I don't think it’ll be that hard a hit,” said Kamler, who is a Walmart employee.
The August balance sheet also showed a slide from the level of August 2018, but not as large as the difference for September. The August numbers were $2,250,083 for this year and $2,618,542 for August 2018.
Regarding sales tax revenue, Feagan was expecting to report the October sales tax amount to the Commission at tomorrow’s Oct. 10 session in Hermann.
In other matters, Southern District Associate Commissioner Jerry Lairmore, R-Owensville, who was acting as presiding commissioner while Miskel recuperated from eye surgery, said about 100 government students from Gasconade County R-1 and R-2 school districts are expected to attend County Government Day Wednesday, Oct. 16. The event is sponsored by University of Missouri Extension Center.
“Any time you can inform this young minds of government — city, county, state — it’s a good thing,” Lairmore said.