By the end of 2014, the debt carried by the City of Mission is expected to drop to $37 million if no new bonds are added. The debt reduction will include paying off bonds that were issued in 2004 to purchase the Mohawk Park property.
The original issue amounts for bonds still on the books that have been issued since the Mohawk purchase reach nearly $54 million. That includes some refinancing issues and the most recent aquatic center funding and Johnson Drive improvements.
As of January 1, the outstanding debt stood at $42.3 million. How much debt the city has incurred became an issue in the last city election.
Besides Johnson Drive and the pool, recent bonds were issued for Martway, street light acquisition, and Nall Avenue reconstruction. No bonds have been issued yet for the Gateway project. A special street sales tax and a park and recreation sales tax are among the funding sources for the bonds. Both of those special taxes have sunset provisions which will automatically end the taxes after a specific number of years.
The total debt at year end is included in a recently completed audit by the city’s outside auditors. The audit also includes a breakdown of all city revenue and expenditures for the last year. The totals show that the city is much more dependent on sales tax revenue than property tax. In 2013, the city collected just over $1.5 million in property tax, but just the city portion of sales tax was over $3 million. It received more than $1 in its share of county sales tax.
The audit shows that city sales tax generated more than $500,000 in both the grocery/drug store category and the category labeled clothing, department and shoe stores. Restaurant and entertainment sales tax also brought $469,000 last year.