Cape Girardeau leaders look to strengthen community resources with online sale tax

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:06 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:31 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - City leaders in Cape Girardeau say they’ve got a plan to bring more resources into the community—and beef up public safety. And, they’re counting on approval of an online sales tax in November to make that happen.

“Most cities in most states in this country have already moved forward in capturing those internet sales,” said Haskin.

That’s why Cape City Manager Dr. Kenneth Haskin supports an internet use tax in his community. He explains how it works.

“The internet sales tax is the same as any general sales tax that you pay in the city your tax rate is not going to increase. All were doing is looking at trying to ask the citizens to allow us to capture those sales taxes that otherwise would be going to other businesses amazon, Wayfair,” Haskin said.

“This tax will generate two and a half to 3 million dollars a year and I can’t imagine what it would have been like the last few years to have that money to be able to invest back into the community,” said Fox.

Cape Girardeau Mayor Bob Fox calls putting the internet use tax on the ballot this week the most important move the city council’s made since they hired Haskin.

" And this is about as important of all the things that I can think of that we handle as a council just for our budgetary needs is the most important thing we will do as council members,” Fox said.

Both men tell me, if the tax is approved, they already have plans for the additional money—including increasing salaries for public safety workers.

“It’s hard to keep policeman , it’s hard to keep fireman we get those individuals trained then they go elsewhere for a salary that is half again as much as their making now. It’s just we gotta make a change,” said Fox.

“The police chief was telling me about how concerned he was in terms of trying to recruit officers and retain the good officers that we have and its difficult to do that when your struggling to pay people what their worth,” Haskin said.

Haskin says moving forward, they hope the approval of the tax can level the playing field for local businesses that may be struggling because out of state businesses are taking advantage of them.

" Those taxes need to be coming to our citizens here in the city. Because increase in revenue equates to increase and improved services,” said Haskin.

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