Hazelwood Council: Considers 1/4¢ Sales Tax Hike, 6% Utility Tax Referendums

The Hazelwood City Council at its  meeting Wednesday night (May 21)   considered two referendums for placing two revenue generating measures before voters as early as the Aug, 5th primary.

At its meeting earlier this month, the council  gave a first reading to a bill that calls for a one-fourth-cent increase in the city’s sales tax, which is now 8.613 percent. It would be used for  fire department operations, which currently has about a $4 million annual budget.

At that meeting another bill that proposes to voters a six percent tax to be added to most residential utility bills was tabled until the May 21st meeting.

City Manger Matt Zimmerman had  said the city was trying to decide if both should be submitted for a vote, or do they just submit one.  The city has recently asked residents to respond to a survey on the city’s financial situation by going to the city’s website (www.hazelwoodmo.org) .

Zimmerman said that city revenues have lagged behind expenses in recent years and the city moved from a budget surplus to a budget deficit starting in 2012.

Hazelwood made it easy for those with limited internet access to fill out a hard copy by going to  three city locations. The city is projecting a $1.6 million budget deficit.

It was estimated that the 6 percent increase in the utility tax would raise about $1.3 annually and quarter-cent sales tax would raise an additional $1.1 million.

Hazelwood needs to approve the measures, either one or both, soon in order to be placed on the Aug. 5th primary ballot.

(The Independent News went to press before the meeting Wednesday night)         -Bob Lindsey

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