BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- Stoddard County Commission members voted 3-0 on Monday to put a "use tax" equivalent to the 1 percent sales tax levied in the county on the April election ballot. Commissioners said the tax is needed to make up for revenue lost when the Missouri Supreme Court ruled last year that local sales taxes could not be collected on new vehicles, boats, trailers or motors bought out of state, or on the sale of used vehicles between individuals.
County Clerk Joe Watson distributed a release from the Missouri Association of Counties that showed Stoddard County received $578,808.74 in sales tax revenue in 2011, with $121,594.83 coming from items exempted by the court.
"I think a use tax would put our car dealers and other merchants on a level playing field with out-of-state dealers," Mathis said.
The use tax is imposed directly on individuals who store, use or consume tangible personal property in Missouri. A use tax does not apply toward purchases from Missouri retailers subject to Missouri sales tax.
The Missouri Legislature passed a measure to restore the sales tax on these items during the 2012 legislative session, but Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the legislation, saying he would not approve any new taxes.
Commissioner Danny Talkington said this is not a new tax. He said residents had been paying the tax since it was passed by the county -- until the court ruled differently in March 2012.
Total sales tax revenue to the county in 2012 was more than in 2011. Entering July, the county took in about $175,000 more than the prior year. Those numbers began to decline after the court ruling. The county was up only $24,179.13 in sales tax revenue in 2012.
Talkington made the motion to put the use tax on the ballot at the same rate as the sales tax, which passed unanimously.