Mayor's Perspective - Budget Season 2024
Posted on 05/01/2024
The following is part of a monthly article series by Mayor Stacy Kinder published to local news media.  Next month’s letter, following further development of the budget, will include more information for FY25 .

KINDER IMGMay 1, 2024 -- The City of Cape’s fiscal year begins every July, and our administration is very busy preparing the FY25 budget for City Council approval. This process will be before the public numerous times in June, which is important as our city budget lays out the priorities of the city. It is vital that City residents can see clearly how revenue is generated, and how it is used.

All of the city’s annual budgets and audits are posted at The city is required to maintain a balanced budget and clean audit every year. It’s important to note that the purpose of the annual audit is to verify that the money coming into the city is funding the thing it is supposed to fund. The audits do not make judgments on how city revenue should be spent—those directives and decisions come from voters through tax initiatives, and from the city council through appropriations and budgets.

I’d like to highlight how the city’s largest operational revenue sources were created, and how they are used, as a way to help citizens understand how the annual budget is crafted. Also, the focus here is how these revenues impact the General Fund, which is the fund through which the most basic municipal functions occur, such as funding for the police and fire departments, parks maintenance, administration, development services, street repair, etc. The largest expense to the General Fund (approximately 69%) is employee salaries and benefits.




The city sales tax contributes to roughly 36% of the city’s General Fund. From this, it is clear our sales tax revenue is a vital component by which the city is able to conduct the services our residents expect to see.

Cape’s Sales Tax is $8.475 in every $100 spent, or 8.475%. It is comprised of numerous components:

County/State Sales Tax — The Cape County Sales Tax and the State of Missouri Sales Tax totals 5.725% of the sales tax that is collected, and is remitted directly to the County and State.

  1. Cape Girardeau County Sales Tax — 1.500%
  2. State of Missouri Sales Tax — 4.225%

The City of Cape does not receive any portion of these sales taxes.


City Sales Tax — The City of Cape’s portion totals 2.75% and is comprised of the following:

  1. General Sales Tax — 1.000%
  2. Transportation Trust Fund (TTF6) — 0.500%

    All TTF6 revenue goes into a fund solely used to complete designated street projects set forth in the plan approved by voters in 2020. Voter approval will soon be needed to further extend this portion of the sales tax for TTF7, and information about that plan will be out to the public in December 2024, with voter consideration coming in April 2025. Please go to “” for specifics.


  3. Capital Improvements (Wastewater and Sewer Improvements) — 0.25%

    This portion of the Capital Improvement Sales Tax (CIST) was extended by voters in 2011 to replace the Wastewater Treatment Facility, and will sunset in 2037. Specifics for both this and the following CIST are at “”.


  4. Capital Improvements (Water/City Hall/Airport/Street Improvement) — 0.25%

    This portion of the CIST was approved by voters in 2019, to extend this tax to 2034. The projects funded include capital improvements for water system projects including replacement of old pipes in the water system, renovating the Common Pleas Courthouse for use as City Hall, terminal and facilities upgrades at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, and additional street repairs.


  5. Fire Safety Sales Tax/ Public Safety Trust Fund) — 0.25%

    This initiative was extended by voter approval in 2014. One half of this tax is permanent and used for operating expenses in the Cape Fire Department. The other half (⅛ of 1%) sunsets in 2035, and is used for fire department facilities and public safety (both police and fire) apparatus and vehicles. You can find more detail at “”.


  6. Parks and Stormwater Tax (PRS2) — 0.500%

This portion of the sales tax was extended by voters in 2018, and while ⅛ cent for operations has no sunset, the remaining ⅜ cent portion will sunset in 2033. It designates funding for many different park projects and improvements, as well as stormwater watershed and drainage projects, which can be found in detail at “”.



The Use Tax we pay within the city limits was approved by voters in 2021, and simply applies the total city sales tax rate to internet purchases—the same as what happens in a physical store. All funding benefits the General Fund, as promised to voters. More detail can be found at “”.



The city Franchise Tax contributes almost 14% of the city’s revenue to the General Fund, and comes from corporations conducting business in the city. This is the second highest source of revenue to the General Fund, and obviously is also impacted by the city’s economy and the business attraction and retention we see here.



The city property tax contributes 7% to the General Fund. Cape has seen an increase in real and personal property tax collection in this past fiscal year, due to increased assessed valuation (a state and county function) and an increase in annexed property, but the property tax rate here in Cape does remain among the lowest in the state.




The City's Casino Fund is funded by both taxes and fees generated from casino patrons—if you don’t go into the casino, you don’t contribute to the Casino Fund. Beginning with the Casino’s creation here in 2012 and continuing today, this revenue is used for a variety of expenses for downtown development, city facilities and infrastructure, and public safety. While Casino Funds are not applied to General Fund expenses, they do help offset expenses we would consider making through the General Fund.


The funding policy is managed by the city council, and continues to emphasize designating funding for items that are not annual operational expenses, due to the source of that funding being a single private business. You can read more about the annual revenue and expenses of Cape’s Casino Fund, as well as those of all casinos in Missouri, on the Missouri Gaming Commission website at “”. The city’s Casino Policy can be found on the city website under the “Laws and Policies” tab.



The city collects and uses hotel, motel, and restaurant taxes in a variety of ways. These are Special Revenue Funds, which are funds that come from sources that have been earmarked for specific purposes. These are not part of the General Fund.


In order to settle all claims against the City from multiple lawsuits stretching out over many years, the City signed an agreement with members of the Drury family and the MidAmerica Hotels Corporation in 2014, to provide for the receipt and disbursement of all revenue from hotel, motel, and restaurant taxes. These taxes will sunset in 2030, and/or when certain bonds are paid off.


These taxes have a rate of 4% on hotel/motel rooms, and 1% on restaurants. This revenue includes funding for operation of the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), debt payments on bonds issued to fund the construction of the SportsPlex, and to a limited extent subsidizes SportsPlex operations.



All these revenue streams have contributed to important upgrades in our city parks and infrastructure, facilities, road construction, public safety equipment, and the general function of the city government. There are many other funds not mentioned here—the city has over 25 separate funds, most of which are non-transferrable. The common thread with all these revenue streams is that they are dependent upon the local economy—they are impacted by the strength of the retail market, the success of tourism promotion, the value of property, and the level of public safety and quality of life.


Additionally, the importance of Cape’s sales tax revenue necessitates a continued and growing focus on economic development, as our General Fund is stretched in how far it can fund large increases in salaries, or in the maintenance and operation of additional facilities.


Our city budget process has to annually examine future economic projections, as well as future development on the horizon. Budget issues that are on the forefront of concern—like funding increases in public safety salaries, and repairing/replacing antiquated water treatment infrastructure—are being taken into account as we set the priorities of the coming fiscal year. These are large-scale, important issues that impact every citizen, and the deferment in funding these issues cannot continue. But leaving “economic development” out of the discussion would eliminate the funding sources by which the city is able to accomplish anything for the public, so it must be included as a vital concept in the city budget..


This letter is meant to help inform the community on the concepts surrounding some of the largest revenue streams for the city government, and specifically the General Fund that provides for its most basic functions. That is obviously only half of the story—I have not gone into any detail on the expense side of the budget, but will do so in next month’s letter as the FY25 budget is further developed and discussed.