Proposed Callaway Property Tax Not Sitting Well With Property Owners

By: Courtney Hayes
By: Courtney Hayes

A few inches of rain means major flooding for most neighborhoods in the city of about 15,000 people. Callaway city officials say this problem could be solved with a property tax.

Roads, city equipment and infrastructure, and the payrolls of city workers would also benefit. The second of three Town Hall meetings was held to try and answer questions about the proposed property tax.

"What we're trying to do is put out factual information to let the citizens digest so they can put themselves in our shoes," says City Commissioner Mike Jones.

But most of those present at Monday's meeting say it's the commissioners that got the city into this situation in the first place.

"Why don't they go to the people before they waste all that money," says N.L. Kirkpatrick, a property owner opposed to the proposed tax.

"If the city of Callaway wouldn't have overspent with such things as this new building that we couldn't afford, then may be they wouldn't have to impose an ad valorem tax on us property owners," says Margie McCrary, a property owner opposed to the property tax.

Commissioners must now weigh the opinions of those who elected them with their legal obligation to keep the city afloat. The city had to cut $800,000 from last year's budget because of a lack of revenue. Callaway is the largest city in the state without a property tax.

The city will hold one last Town Hall meeting next month. The city has until August to decide if they want to impose a property tax.


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