Auditor: Columbia TDDs could owe hundreds of thousands in fines

Aug 13, 2013

Columbia's Transportation Development Districts
Columbia's Transportation Development Districts
Credit City of Columbia Planning and Development Department

The Missouri state auditor says dozens of transportation tax districts – including some in Columbia - could owe millions of dollars of fines for not properly reporting their finances. But Auditor Tom Schweich says Missouri law is unclear about who should collect those fines.

Transportation Development Districts are allowed to levy special sales taxes to finance road and bridge improvements. They often are associated with highway interchanges at new retail centers. Schweich says 49 of Missouri's 176 transportation districts failed to report their finances to his office by a state deadline in either the 2009, 2010 or 2011 fiscal years.

State law allows fines of $500 a day. Schweich says that could have totaled almost $17 million as of last February. Schweich wants lawmakers to clarify who enforces those fines. There are 12 TDD’s in Columbia, and 7 of them had violations according to Schweich’s report. Two of the Columbia districts reportedly could owe $964 thousand each in fines.