City use tax issue on Jackson, MO ballot fails to pass

City use tax proposed on Jackson April ballot

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - In the City of Jackson, if you buy something online from outside the state you are not charged a sales tax.

An issue on the April ballot wanted to change that. It’s actually called a use tax.

Jackson voters voted against the use tax on April 2.

There were 690 no votes, and 608 yes votes with 100 percent precincts reporting.

“The City of Jackson will continue to place a priority on identifying revenue streams to supplement dwindling local sales tax revenue. The issue of Use Tax will continue to be significant as online shopping sales increase in coming years, and local sales tax revenue remains stagnant or even decreases. We know that Jackson residents place a high priority on our City’s future, and we’ll continue working toward those projects identified as priorities when funding sources are available. Thank you to all those who took time to learn about Use Tax, and to our business community for supporting this important issue. Thanks also goes to the Jackson Board of Aldermen and the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce for their help in educating the public about the Use Tax.”
Jackson Missouri Mayor Dwain Hahs

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Mayor Dwain Hahs said the money raised would fund projects the city can’t afford with the money they take in now.

He said sales tax tax revenue has been falling flat in recent years, in part because of the popularity of internet sales.

“For the City of Jackson, our sales tax rate is currently 2.5 cents for every dollar spent, which is the lowest among cities in our region,” Mayor Hahs said.

That equates to an estimated $600,000 to $750,000 in revenue each year in Jackson, depending on the amount of out-of-state purchases made in a specific year.

“We think it’s important. we know the amount of internet sales and sales from outside Missouri is increasing every day dramatically over the last few years. Our feeling is, it wouldn’t mean a lot to the citizens but could mean a lot to the city as a whole in delivering some of the priorities that we want,” said Mayor Hahs.

Projects include new lights on East Jackson Boulevard, upgrading the city swimming pool and possible curbside recycling.

Mayor Hahs is encouraging everyone in Jackson to educate themselves on use taxes before heading to the polls in April.

“If you already pay a local sales tax on a purchase, you won’t pay a use tax,” he said. "If you don’t purchase products from outside of Missouri, you won’t pay a use tax.

For an average person who spends $500 in online purchases from out-of-state sellers each year, use tax on those purchases would equate to $12.50.

The State of Missouri and Cape Girardeau County already have use taxes in place.

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