Downtown Sales Tax Will Not Affect Auto Sales

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COLUMBIA - Downtown Columbia residents needn't worry about the new half-cent sales tax when purchasing a car.

The executive director of the Downtown Community Improvement District Board, Carrie Gartner, cleared up the matter Thursday morning after a day of confusion.

"I've been on the phone with the (Mo.) Department of Revenue all morning, and what we've learned is they initially made an incorrect statement saying that auto sales would be charged the CID tax. Actually, according to the state CID law, auto sales and motor vehicle sales are exempt," said Gartner.

The Department of Revenue mistakenly told the Columbia Missourian the half-cent sales tax would apply to downtown business district residents who purchased a vehicle, regardless of where that sale took place.

Traditionally, sales tax on motor vehicles is charged at the rate where a person lives.

Downtown residents passed the tax Tuesday by a vote of 25 to 15. The sales tax is expected to produce $300,000 in revenue for dowtown business district development. That estimate did not include any potential revenue from motor vehicle sales.