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The Carthage Press
  • Monday meeting to discuss use tax

  • No showed up to ask questions at a meeting held by the Jasper County Commissioners to discuss a proposed use tax, but resident in Carthage who may still have questions have one more chance to ask before the election a week from Tuesday.
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  • No showed up to ask questions at a meeting held by the Jasper County Commissioners to discuss a proposed use tax, but resident in Carthage who may still have questions have one more chance to ask before the election a week from Tuesday.
    The city will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Carthage Middle School to discuss Carthage's use tax proposal which will be on the ballot on Nov. 5.
    Voters in Carthage will see two use tax proposals on the ballot, one for the city and one for the county.
    Representatives from the Carl Junction, Carthage, Joplin and Webb City Chambers of Commerce announced last week their joint endorsement of the local and county use tax that will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.
    Joplin Chamber President Rob O'Brian said at a press conference last week that this is not a new tax.
    In a written release, the chambers said the current sales tax language must be changed so that the revenue generated from city and county sales tax can still be collected and our area businesses can stay competitive with out-of-state dealers.
    This ballot initiative simply allows the cities and county to collect the same amount they would collect in a sales tax as a local and county use tax instead.
    Local businesses are at a competitive disadvantage to out-of-state businesses when there is not a use tax in place. Large ticket items are taxed by the state of Missouri but not by cities or the county unless there is a local and county use tax in place.
    The chambers said keeping those sales local would not only generate tax dollars for the city and county, it would help local businesses that create local jobs and reinvest in the community. This directly replaces the sales tax that is currently in place.
    Nearly half of all Missouri cities with a population over 2,000 already have the local use tax in place. Many passed it several years ago. It is not a double tax as some have thought. The local use tax applies only on transactions where no sales tax was already applied. If you paid a local tax at the time of purchase, you would not pay it again.
    Currently a citizen pays city and county sales tax on vehicles bought in another state when they license a vehicle. Those tax revenues go to the city and county, which is used by them to help pay for services such as police and fire protection, street repairs, park improvements, water and waste water treatment. Under the new interpretation, a citizen no longer pays city and county sales tax on vehicles purchased out of state or from an individual.
    To offset the loss of revenues, the city and county must pass a local and county use tax that is the same percentage as the city and county sales tax that is currently in place. If the local and county use tax is not passed, local businesses, our cities and our county will suffer. They will no longer be able to collect a tax that has been collected all along. Jobs will leave and services provided by the cities and county will be reduced.

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