Voters in Carthage will go to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 8 to decide whether the city can continue to collect sales taxes on vehicles, trailers and other items needing titles purchased out of state.

Voters in Carthage will go to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 8 to decide whether the city can continue to collect sales taxes on vehicles, trailers and other items needing titles purchased out of state.
The decision in voters hands is whether the city can continue to collect a sales tax it has been collecting for decades or will it have to do without the $65,000 to $75,000 in revenue that tax brings to the city annually, according to Missouri Department of Revenue estimates.
A majority vote will decide the issue.
The tax amounts to 2.75 cents on the dollar for cars, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, trailers, tractors and anything else that requires a title to own.
According to the city's information, state will continue to collect it's 4.225 cents on the dollar on these purchases no matter how Carthage voters vote.
“In-State purchases are not affected by this ballot issue,” the city said. “In-state purchases of motor vehicles will remain subject to the full city sales tax rate regardless of this vote. This vote only affects the taxation on vehicles purchased out-of-state or purchased directly from an individual, regardless of buyer or purchasers residence.”
According to city officials, currently, the city, county and state sales tax on these items is paid when the new owner applies for a title in Missouri.
City officials posted information related to the tax on the city's website, www.carthagemo.gov.

Background
City Administrator Tom Short told the Carthage City Council that issue stems from a 2012 Missouri Supreme Court ruling that declared the state's sales tax law didn't allow the state to collect what was then called a use tax on vehicles, boats, trailers and other vehicles and large ticket items purchased by residents of Carthage from out-of-state businesses.
The city lost out on about $65,000 in revenue in 2011 when the tax wasn't collected, but the state legislature passed a fix that reinstated the tax, but required that cities put it before voters or it would go away a second time.
Voters in Carthage rejected the renewal of the use tax in November 2013 by a vote of 268 no to 203 yes.
The measure to extend the county's sales tax was also rejected in that election by a margin of 2,832 no to 1,286 yes.
At that time the tax was scheduled to expire in November 2016, but state lawmakers passed an extension which changed it to a sales tax and gives cities until November 2018 to get voters to approve the tax.

Impact of the vote
City officials have stressed over the weeks that the proposal is not a new tax, it's a tax that is already being collected and has been collected for decades.
A no vote gives out-of-state vendors an advantage over Carthage and Missouri sellers because buyers wouldn't pay the city's portion of the sales tax on a vehicle or trailer bought in another state.
“In addition to the revenues which the City would lose if the tax is discontinued, Carthage auto dealers would be placed at a competitive disadvantage to out-of-state businesses,” city officials said in a letter to voters. “Out-of-state auto dealers do not have to charge the City Sales Tax on vehicle purchases while local purchases would. Keeping those sales local would not only generate tax dollars for the city, it would help local businesses who create local jobs and reinvest in the community. Further, the State would still continue to collect its share (4.225%) of sales of vehicles in or out of state.”