49
      Monday
      62 / 45
      Tuesday
      68 / 49
      Wednesday
      72 / 46

      Matthes wants higher property taxes

      City Manager Mike Matthes said Columbians will likely pay higher property taxes for ongoing services.

      City Manager Mike Matthes said Columbia gets a 10 out of 10.

      Matthes gave his annual report on Columbiaâ??s priorities and programs during his State of the City Address.

      He reported some progress, but said the 7 strategic priorities adopted by the city council in 2012 still need a lot of work.

      Matthes said Columbiaâ??s unemployment rate remains one of the lowest in the state.

      He said violent crime is the lowest itâ??s been in the last 20 years, but Columbia is understaffed in police, fire and most other city services. He added that Columbians will likely pay higher property taxes for ongoing services.

      Matthes said, â??If you think about the needs the community said it wants, just those 2 things, roads and the prevention of crime, those are universal needs. They arenâ??t going to go away in 2 years if we pour a bunch of money into it. These are permanent needs that the community is going to have. The best way to fund that is property tax because it doesnâ??t go away in a recession.â??

      Matthes said sales tax revenues are down, but city leaders balanced their budget which supports public safety, health and other core public programs.

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