Sales tax revenue for 2012 was up in Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Cape Girardeau County compared to the year before, in line with reports of an increase in Missouri state tax revenue for the year.
It is not yet clear if changes to state law controlling how local entities tax vehicles may have led to decreases in revenue, and it is too soon to tell if an influx of visitors to the Casino Cape Girardeau has resulted in an increase in sales tax revenue, local officials say.
The city of Cape Girardeau levies a sales tax of 2.75 percent, which includes a 1 percent general sales tax, a half-cent transportation sales tax, quarter-cent rates for fire, water and sewer, and a half-cent for parks and stormwater management. The total sales tax for Cape Girardeau residents, including the Missouri rate of 4.225 percent and county rate of 1 percent, is 7.975 percent.
A summary of sales tax receipts prepared by the city Jan. 7 shows a total for January through December 2012 of $9,553,927, which is 3.9 percent higher than the same period in 2011.
Jackson collected $3,157,004 in combined general sales tax, transportation sales tax and fire sales tax in 2012. The general sales tax collected, compared to 2011, increased by 2.9 percent and the transportation sales tax jumped by 3.5 percent. Complete 2011 numbers for comparison are not available for the quarter-cent fire tax, which the city started levying in May of that year.
In November, Jackson voters approved the collection of a quarter-cent parks tax, bringing the city's rate to 2 percent and the total tax rate to 7.225. The new tax is expected to bring in about $500,000 annually.
Cape Girardeau County collects general sales tax and Proposition 1 sales tax, which supports the sheriff's department and county roads. General sales taxes collected in 2012 were $6,630,258, a gain of 2.1 percent compared to 2011. Prop 1 taxes saw a similar increase of 2.2 percent, with total collections for the year at $6,631,081.
Each of the three entities receives and reports monthly receipts from the Missouri Department of Revenue that reflect collections from two or three prior months. For example, the amount of sales tax revenue that holiday spending generated will be evident in February's or March's numbers.
One issue that was projected to cause losses in income for the county and municipalities was a Missouri Supreme Court ruling in May that prohibited the collection of local sales taxes on vehicle, boat and trailer purchases made out-of-state or person-to-person. Before the change, taxes would be collected according to the buyer's address when the vehicle was registered.
The Missouri Association of Counties estimated the loss of revenue for Cape Girardeau County would be about $250,000. For the city of Cape Girardeau, the amount was projected at about $280,000.
Roger Hudson, treasurer of Cape Girardeau County, said the county does not yet know the effect on county coffers, if any, as a result of the change in the law or of potential income generated by the casino.
Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger said it is "too soon to get a trend on casino and vehicle issues."
However, John Richbourg, Cape Girardeau city finance director, said that sales tax growth from vehicle sales from July 1 to Sept. 30 was down 17.5 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011.
Questions to Jackson city staff regarding the effects of changes to vehicle tax law and potential casino income were not answered as of Friday afternoon.
Cape Girardeau, Mo.