There will be a public hearing next week in Jefferson City to discuss the gross receipts utility tax. Mayor Carrie Tergin tells ABC 17 News she did not propose a change to the current 5. 65 percent rate.
Mayor Tergin was our guest on Friday (8.14) for “This Week.” This is a transcript of the conversation:
MAYOR: So, we want people to know they can come to City Hall at 6pm on Monday night and voice their opinions and concerns just thoughts about that tax.
JOEY: And if anyone might be new to town and thinks this is a new thing, it started in 1968 it’s not new.
MAYOR: No, it’s been many, many years since anything has changed on the tax, there is been some flexibility, the City Council can either increase it up to 7 percent or decrease it down to zero so right now it’s about at 5.65 percent so the reason we talk about it everywhere is we have an ordinance that requires public hearing to discuss that matter and allow the public some input on that. It hasn’t been really discussed or talked about for many years in detail so, but every year there is a public hearing. So we are hoping by getting the word out we will have some public input on that subject.
JOEY: And money from this tax is used for.
MAYOR: it depends on what the Council would chose, it can go into several different projects.
JOEY: And speaking of money you have about a 16 million dollar budget that you’ve uh, pitched out there, uh has to be decided on by April, I mean by October rather by the Council.
MAYOR: Yes, and right now we are in the middle of our budget meetings and how that works is our City Administrator presents the first budget and as a Mayor I go through and make my changes and I present the Mayors budget to the Council and right now they are debating my budget and making changes to that and essentially now it will be the Councils budget and they will be the ones voting on any changes and voting on the final budget implemented in October and right now this is great timing because this Monday night at 6pm we also have the City Council uh, budget public forum, public hearing actually, not a public forum, we are having, it is a public forum we are having time for the public to speak but uh the public hearing for the budget is also Monday night so it’s a great time for people to voice their opinion and concerns and any questions they may have regarding Jefferson City’s budget.
JOEY: You also have another Initiative coming up.
MAYOR: In my budget you will see public safety is utmost importance, I have funded the public safety officers as far as the Fire Department. I included funding for a Fire Department training officer and also have included money for police vehicles, so public safety is very strong, in my, in my heart of what I think is important in our community and I’m looking forward to a primary seatbelt law discussion at the Jefferson City Council level and we are going to start at a Public Safety committee meeting where we can have those discussions. Missouri has a secondary seat belt law so I’m hoping that a primary law can hopefully save some lives. I know it’s a concern and a lot of lives that were recently lost, even in the Mid-Missouri area and it’s a tragic incident when youth and others die from not wearing seat belt’s so I’m hoping that as Mayor I can bring that subject forward for some thoughtful discussion and I am hoping that we can have an impact as Capital City to the entire state. There are other cities that do have primary laws in Missouri and I am hoping that Jefferson City can be a leader in the Primary Seat belt Law.
JOEY: Of course being a primary law means that you can get pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt, right now it has to be incidental, it has to be for some other reason, what do you think, what do you say to folks who say that this is just another reason for police to stop and interfere with people.
MAYOR: I would say that they should be wearing their seatbelt in the first place. There is a law already in the books to wear it and they should. and it does save lives and injuries and it should be worn at all times. So, I don’t buy that excuse and I know that it is an excuse that people have talked about and a reason but they should be wearing it in the first place, always. There are no cases when they should not be wearing it at all times in the vehicle and it’s the drivers responsibility I think to make sure.
JOEY: Mayor your not even six months in to your um, uh, administration, how has it been so far?
MAYOR: It’s been fantastic, I really enjoy being Mayor and I feel like I can really make a difference and have enjoyed it and have had wonderful feedback and just want to get out there and do all that I can to make Jefferson City better.
JOEY: Any unpleasant surprises?
MAYOR: Not really, its, its been very good I have to say and I think Jefferson City is excited to have an energetic Mayor who is willing to get out there and work and do good things for our city and actually I have been having great responses with the State, with the County, and look forward to expanding that even further.
JOEY: Mayor thank you for taking your time and joining us, we will be glad to have you back soon.
MAYOR: Thank you for having me.