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City Council votes to change fiscal year in St. Joseph

St. Joseph City Council voted Monday to change the City's fiscal year to match the calendar year, something that hasn't been changed since 1981.

Posted: Dec 4, 2019 7:00 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph City Council voted Monday to change the City's fiscal year to match the calendar year, something that hasn't been changed since 1981.

City Manager Bruce Woody said the fiscal year for the City has been July 1st through June 30th since the current City Charter was enacted in 1981. But, the council voted 7-2 in favor of changing the fiscal year to January 1st through December 31st.

"The fiscal year is an item within the charter that's actually allowed to be changed by the City Council by ordinance," Woody said.

That means the council did not need a public vote to pass it. The change, however, was first brought before the council by the Charter Review Committee, which was formed as a request by council members. Woody said the Charter usually gets reviewed every few years. 

The majority of the council was in favor of the switch because it would give new council members (who are voted into office every four years in April) more time to discuss the upcoming year's budget.

"New members of council start in late or middle of April and less than two weeks after having just started in the position they sit down to review the budget for the next ensuing year," Woody said.

This way, the new council members will have eight months to discuss and review the upcoming City budget rather than two months like they do currently.

Two of the council members, including Gary Roach, voted down the change. Roach said he would rather have the fiscal year run October through September, matching the federal fiscal year.

"That gives you a little bit more time," Roach said. "Sure you have a couple of holidays in there, but nothing like you know what you're going to be facing when you have to have everything all ready by January the first."

Having a fiscal year that matches the calendar year will also mean the City will no longer line up with the State of Missouri's fiscal year, which runs July 1st through June 30th. It will, however, coincide with Buchanan County and the Chamber of Commerce.

Woody said the change will be enacted in January 2021. The current fiscal year will continue as planned until June 30, 2020. Then, the City will go through a six month fiscal year period between July 1st, 2019 and December 31st, 2019. 

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