The City of Camdenton closed a strong first quarter of the fiscal year, up 20 percent from last December, after receiving a supplemental sales tax distribution from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

The City of Camdenton closed a strong first quarter of the fiscal year, up 20 percent from last December, after receiving a supplemental sales tax distribution from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

According to a letter sent to the city by Joel Allison, deputy director of MDR’s Taxation Division, the department began implementing a new tax system to process sales and use tax returns in September that delayed distributions to cities, counties and districts of sales tax collected through November 30, but not distributed in early December, as would normally be the custom.

“To remedy this, the Department is taking extraordinary action… you will receive a supplemental distribution if the Department processed sales and use tax returns for your jurisdiction between Dec. 1, 2017, and Dec. 11, 2017, which resulted in a positive balance in your distribution fund,” the letter stated.

The result of the supplemental distribution boosted the city’s monthly total to $200,087.26, an increase of more than $33,000 from December 2016 which puts Camdenton up 5.75 percent year-to-date. The city currently does not have a use tax, collected on out-of-state purchases, on the books, but has floated the idea of placing one on an upcoming election ballot.

“We initially got a report and we were slightly up, not enough to make a significant difference, then I received the letter,” City Clerk Renée Kingston said. “It’s nice to see we weren’t exactly going crazy, it was them causing our craziness.”

With an up-and-down year in 2016 that saw sales tax figures jump around from quarter to quarter, city officials had wondered if the state had been withholding or delaying sales tax funds. The city now appears to have an explanation.

The numbers come nearly a month after City Administrator Jeff Hancock spoke in a cautious tone about the prospect of beginning to build a community center after Camdenton reported decreases in sales tax revenue in October and November. Hancock recommended the Board of Aldermen engage with Ballard King, which specializes in recreation, leisure demand and partnership studies for a market feasibility study estimated to cost approximately $3,000 to $6,000.

Though no action has yet to be taken, the city does have approximately $1.4 million set aside for the project, and the city would continue to save if the Board decides to postpone or go forward with the feasibility study. City officials said the plan is to closely review the next couple months of sales tax figures before making a decision.

Ultimately, the city is hoping to execute a recommendation made by RGD in Destination Camdenton to increase the volume of sales tax flowing through the city. In January and February, Camdenton plans to implement what would be a new form of development for the city through updates in its planning and zoning code.

“In January, we’re planning on inviting developers, real estate people, owners to communicate our potential Planned Unit Development (PUD) which would give them more flexibility on doing more things, and getting their feedback, and then moving into the actual ordinance,” Hancock said. “We’re identifying the sites and pieces of property, communicating some of the things we need — what we need is more multi-family housing, low and moderate income housing, and we also need retail. We’re getting ready to do business on that.”