From the Platte County Commission:
After a public January 3rd budget hearing, in which Prosecutor Eric Zahnd proposed rescinding the voter approved one-half cent parks sales tax and replacing it with a one-fourth cent sales tax for law enforcement and a one-eighth cent sales tax for parks, the Commission placed a stop work order for the Community Centers on January 5th. The stoppage was issued to allow the Prosecutor’s idea additional time and opportunity to be reviewed.
While the stop work order has remained in place, the commission consulted independent counsel and has extensively researched the ramifications of rescinding the parks tax as proposed by Zahnd.
“We have been advised by independent bond counsel, Rick McConnell at Gilmore & Bell, P.C., that taking actions toward the rescission of the tax would have serious negative effects on the County’s credit rating,” stated Presiding Commissioner, Jason Brown. “This would negatively affect the value of the County’s outstanding bonds which bond holders have purchased in good faith, and create numerous legal liabilities for the County.”
With funding approved by the County Commission for the Prosecutor at his requested
level, the FY12 budget was formally adopted on January 10th. Since that time, there has been
no additional detail offered to the Commission on rescinding the voter approved parks funding,
except by bond counsel. With this detailed opinion from counsel, the Commission is now
moving forward and the stop work order is lifted, effective immediately.
“Our County has made a promise to its citizens. Agreements have been signed with
numerous community partners and placing the county in both a financial and legal corner is not
an option,” added Presiding Commissioner Jason Brown. “This Commission will continue to
balance the budget while completing all of our obligations and responsibilities.”