MID-MISSOURI -- Voters in Centralia and Hallsville will vote on the implementation of a use tax on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Hallsville Mayor Logan Carter said if passed, the measure would help small businesses.
“It would level the playing field between our small businesses and large corporations.” Carter said. “It all comes back to the community.”
If approved, Hallsville estimates it will earn $20,000 in revenue annually from it. In Centralia, the estimate is $105,966.
Carter said the money earned will be utilized for the town’s infrastructure.
“The Hallsville use tax would be used on infrastructure updates and maintenance, mainly to our roads and sidewalks,” Carter said.
In Centralia, the funds would be allocated among several areas, including parks and recreation, public safety and transportation
Missouri is one of the only states not to have a use tax implemented in all municipalities. Over 200 cities in the state have a local use tax. Local cities like Paris, Moberly, Macon and Sturgeon currently have a local use tax.
A local sales tax and a local use tax are not the same.
Centralia City Administrator Heather Russell claimed it’s one or the other.
“Many people have been moving to online shopping where there are no local taxes,” Russell said. “A use tax is on goods purchased from out-of-state vendors, like Amazon.”
Consumers will not pay both a sales tax and a use tax on a single purchase.
A use tax for both the City of Columbia and Boone County as a whole were both narrowly struck down in 2017, per a Columbia Missourian report.
With a record number of voters expected to turnout on Nov, 3, Carter believes this issue will get plenty of attention.
“We wanted to put it on the November ballot to have the most eyes and most voter turnout,” Carter said. “I do believe we will have the votes to pass it.”