COLUMBIA — Residents making purchases in the Rock Bridge Shopping Center already have begun to pay a half-cent more in sales tax. The tax went into effect July 1 and brings the total sales tax for retail businesses in the district to 8.05 percent, or a little more than 8 cents on the dollar.
One of the two new Hy-Vee stores that will start construction soon will be located in the Rock Bridge Shopping Center, and its shoppers will pay the extra tax.
State Sales Tax:
- General Fund: 3 percent
- Education: 1 percent
- Conservation: 0.125 percent
- Parks and Soil: 0.1 percent
County Sales Tax: 1.325 percent
City Sales Tax Breakdown: 2 percent
Total outside of TDDs: 7.55 percent
TDD Sales Tax: 0.5 percent
General Sales Total: 8.05 percent
Qualified Food Sales Total (without state general fund tax): 5.05 percent
Source: City of Columbia
On Monday, Hy-Vee finalized its agreement to lease the former Wal-Mart store in the shopping center at the northeast corner of Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard, Hy-Vee spokeswoman Chris Friesleben said. The second new Hy-Vee location will be in the former Megamart at 25 Conley Road. This store falls within the Conley Road Transportation Development District, which also has a half-cent sales tax.
At its Sept. 2 meeting, the Columbia City Council approved an agreement with Rock Bridge Center Transportation Development District that calls for the city to collect the district's half-cent sales tax in exchange for 1 percent of the revenue.
The district's portion of the tax is intended to pay for 18 transportation projects near Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard. The projects include:
- A new access point off Providence Road into the Rock Bridge shopping center.
- A new driving lane on the east side of Providence Road.
- A strip of road connecting Buttonwood Drive with Providence Road.
- Upgraded traffic signals and surveillance equipment for better traffic flow on Providence Road.
- Construction of stormwater infrastructure, sidewalks, parking lot entrances, traffic signals, medians and turn lanes around the Rock Bridge shopping center.
Erick Creach, attorney for the Rock Bridge TDD, said bidding on construction of the project has not begun. Creach said "a general time frame" for bidding would begin by the end of 2008 but he could give no details.
Creach said an estimated cost of the projects was not yet available.
The Rock Bridge TDD's board held its initial meeting on May 1 to establish a bank account at the Boone County National Bank and elect officers. Board members are Hiram Watson, James Alabach, Otto Maly, Jack Maher and John Hancock. Maher and Hancock are associates of Maly Commercial Realty, which is listing properties within Rock Bridge Shopping Center. Maly is the president of the realty company.
Transportation development districts are set up by property owners, or registered voters, through a state statute that allows the district to charge up to a 1 percent sales tax to pay for transportation projects. The sales tax is not subject to voter approval.
Petitions to establish such districts are filed in circuit court against a local transportation authority, such as the city, and the Missouri Department of Transportation. If a judge approves the petition, the district is formally established.
The districts can issue bonds to raise initial money upfront for their road projects then pay off the bonds with sales tax revenue. Districts are established for a specific amount of time outlined in their initial petition. However, the district's board can vote to dissolve once the costs for road projects are covered.
The petition establishing the Rock Bridge Center TDD allows it to exist for up to 50 years.
The city and the Missouri Department of Transportation also are allowed to designate advisory members to district boards, but they do not actively participate in board matters. In Columbia, minutes of meetings, and copies of any documents the boards discuss, are provided to the city manager's office.
The Rock Bridge district board is scheduled to meet again Sept. 19 at the Daniel Boone Building. The Rock Bridge Center TDD is one of about a dozen in the city, although not all of those are collecting sales tax at this point. Its sales tax will not apply to the Goodwill Industries thrift shop, which is exempt.