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The Carthage Press
  • Cities, chambers back use tax

  • When someone buys a $20,000 car from Brad Link, and he has to remind them that they will have to pay the sales tax when they title that vehicle, Link knows that's going to take a big bite out of most people's wallets.
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  • When someone buys a $20,000 car from Brad Link, and he has to remind them that they will have to pay the sales tax when they title that vehicle, Link knows that's going to take a big bite out of most people's wallets.
    Link, with Van's Vans in Webb City, also knows if people can save $600 or $800 in sales taxes by driving a short distance into another state to buy that vehicle, many people will do it.
    That's why the Webb City car dealer hosted Chamber of Commerce leaders from Carthage, Joplin, Webb City and Carl Junction for their announcement last week that the chambers were urging voters to say yes to the local use tax issues that will be on Tuesday's ballot.
    “No use tax means people going somewhere else, out of state, to buy a car,” Link said. “That's a big dollar amount for most people that buy cars. When you mention to someone buying a $20,000 car that you know they have to pay sales tax, that's a big deal. People will go across the state line to buy a car if they can save a few hundred dollars.”
    Currently people who buy a car, truck or other big item that has to be licensed and titled, if they go out of state to make that purchase, they pay sales taxes equal to the rate in the community where they live before they can title it.
    But in 2011, state stopped collecting the local portion of that sales tax rate, for cities and counties like Carthage and Jasper County that did not have what's called a local us tax in place, after the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that sales tax laws did not allow the state to collect local sales taxes on those purchases.
    According to Carthage Chamber of Commerce President Mark Elliff, in a meeting held in Carthage on Oct. 28, the Supreme Court ruling meant the loss of more than $64,000 in revenue for the city of Carthage and more than $300,000 in revenue for Jasper County.
    This year, 17 months after the Supreme Court ruling, lawmakers and Gov. Jay Nixon agreed to a temporary fix, allowing the state to collect the local sales tax once again until November 2016, but requiring counties and cities that do not have a use tax currently to get voter approval for a use tax or lose that revenue once again.
    That's why voters in Jasper County are headed to the polls on Tuesday. The cities in Jasper County and the county itself agreed to put their measures on the ballot at one time, meaning the cities and counties will share the cost of the election, which will run in the tens of thousands of dollars.
    Carthage Chamber Membership Director Neely Myers, in the press conference hosted at Van's Vans in Webb City, said Jasper County is too close to three state lines not to have that local use tax.
    Page 2 of 2 - “This is not a new tax, so people who might be going to those other states to get their vehicles, they are currently paying this tax,” Myers said “I do think it's important for people to remember that it's something we're already paying, it's important to our communities and we just need to make sure that we're doing everything we can to support our communities, to support our workers, to support our jobs.”

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