Sales tax tops $1 million; outlook good for record 2021 receipts

By Buck Collier, Special Correspondent
Posted 11/24/21

HERMANN — Gasconade County has topped $1 million in General Revenue sales tax receipts with the year’s final payment yet to come, putting the local government in good shape to notch …

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Sales tax tops $1 million; outlook good for record 2021 receipts

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HERMANN — Gasconade County has topped $1 million in General Revenue sales tax receipts with the year’s final payment yet to come, putting the local government in good shape to notch another record — something clearly not expected by officials when the year began as the county wrestled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

County Treasurer Mike Feagan Thursday morning reported November’s sales tax reimbursement check of $89,227, down from the $93,068 received in November 2020. However, this month’s check pushed the county’s year-to-date total to $1,011,760, the second-highest amount to 2020’s total of $1,037,402. Given past December reimbursement checks, the county should easily top last year’s total and set an all-time high for annual sales tax revenue.

There was even further good news from Feagan for county administrators, albeit news heavy on the humorous side: “And we got the use tax,” he said, referring to the first monthly reimbursement of the sales tax applied to sales from out-of-state vendors. After six failed attempts in past decade, Gasconade County voters this year approved a 1.325-cent sales tax that will fund both county government and the county’s Enhanced-911 Program. The tax went into effect Oct. 1.

The check was for $1.74 — an amount so low that county administrators had to chuckle, saying it would cost more to mail E-911’s portion of the payment than that agency would receive, which would be roughly one-third the total amount. Still, Feagan was able to have some fun with the miniscule amount. “I’ll let you know it’s 100-percent more than we received last year,” he said.

Indeed, county officials said many out-of-state businesses might only file their sales taxes quarterly or perhaps annually while others might be slow in gearing up to meet the new sales tax payment. Future monthly checks will better reflect how well the tax will produce revenue, they said.

As for the 1-cent General Revenue sales tax, this month’s check pushes the county’s total to $77,773 ahead of the amount received through November 2020. Last December’s reimbursement check was for $103,500. Even half that amount would push this year’s total revenue well beyond the 2020 total.

More importantly, it would mean the county sales tax revenue would exceed the budgeted amount of $1,040,000 as the anticipated sales tax revenue for the year. When that figure was placed in the budget, officials were skeptical of reaching the amount. But as the monthly checks arrived, it became evident that 2021 was shaping up to be much better than expected, making it increasingly likely that the projected sales tax amount would be met if not exceeded.

In other matters at last week’s session of the County Commission, Feagan reported that a “very generous donation” of $1,000 was received for the county’s Cemetery Fund, the account that pays for the maintenance of abandoned graveyards. That fund is fueled only through donations, not General Revenue dollars.

County Clerk Lesa Lietzow noted that Public Water Supply District 1 has received $750,000 from the Missouri Department of Economic Development to help fund water and wastewater upgrades to meet state Department of Natural Resources requirements. The district also is expected to apply for a share of the American Rescue Plan Act funds allocated to Gasconade County for infrastructure projects.

The county’s University Extension Council is expected to present its budget request to the Commission at its Dec. 1 session at Owensville City Hall. Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel, R-Hermann, who sits on the council, assisted the agency in crafting its budget request. “They did a very good, comprehensive job of putting that budget together,” he said.

The local University Extension Center is one of a few outside agencies that receives funding from the county’s operating budget. 

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