Voters decide on Cape Girardeau, Jackson use tax

Cape Girardeau, Jackson asking for use tax, not everyone agrees

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Voters in Cape Girardeau and Jackson turned out on Tuesday and decided on a new use tax for out-of-state purchases.

Cape Girardeau voters were asked about imposing a new use-tax for large purchases made out-of-state, and they said "no." Fifty-seven percent of voters turned away the new tax proposal.

A similar question on the ballot asked voters to decide if the city of Jackson should impose a 2 percent use-tax. They also voted "no," by 55 percent.

The tax would apply to individuals and businesses who buy more than $2,000 in goods per year from non-Missouri vendors.

In Cape Girardeau a 2.75 percent tax would be applied to those purchases. Officials estimate the tax will bring $1.25 million in revenue.

In Jackson, the rate would be 2 percent, generating between $200,000 and $300,000 in projected funds.

Leaders for both cities say the money would go toward funding the public safety.

"That's to fully fund our police department, we've been unable to do that with our budget over the years," Cape Girardeau mayor Harry Rediger said.

Rediger said the money would allow officers to focus more on community policing in neighborhoods.

In Jackson, Mayor Dwayne Hahs said the city would look to add an additional resource officer to its school district and more officers to its department.

"We identified the ability to add 2-3 patrol officers to our police force which we think is necessary as we continue to grow," Hahs said.

Leaders say the use tax will primarily apply to businesses making large purchases.

Not everyone agrees with the new tax, however.

David Epps, a Cape Girardeau resident, made his opposition known publicly by displaying a large sign on his truck asking people to vote no.

"Everybody else will pay that tax because those businesses will just pass that tax through in higher prices," Epps said.

However, both Jackson and Cape Girardeau voters approved an extension of the current tax on vehicles bought out of state.

That tax applies to items like cars, boats and trailers registered in Cape Girardeau or Jackson but purchased from non-Missouri vendors.

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