Use tax failure

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COLUMBIA - In a special election Tuesday, voters decided against the Boone County Use Tax (Proposition U) and the Columbia Use Tax (Proposition 1).

The use taxes would act like a sales tax, but only for purchases made out of state, such as online sales.

Boone County District II Commissioner Janet Thompson said the result is "unfortunate for the community."

She said the tax would have helped replace tax revenue lost to out of state vendors, like Amazon. 

In Boone County, the tax would have kicked in anytime someone cumulatively spent more than $2,000 on out of state purchases in a given year.

However, it failed, with 55 percent of voters voting "no."

Local business owner Paul Prevo said Columbia should look for ways to cut back spending, not increase taxation.

The Columbia Use Tax failed by just 132 votes. About 8,400 people voted on this measure.

This comes after mid-Missouri saw low voter turnout. 

Columbia ward 2 councilman Michael Trapp said he and city manager Mike Matthes had discussed using the tax revenue to hire more fire fighters. 

"We're going to continue to look for ways to enhance our revenue," Trapp said. "We've made a lot of budget cuts."

Thompson said the results will force the county commission to look at other forms of funding, including a possible increase in property taxes.  

The Macon County Elementary School proposition passed with 54 percent of voters voting "yes."

Moniteau County's library propositions A-1 and A-2 both passed. Proposition A-1 passed with 75 percent of the vote. Proposition A-2 passed with 69 percent of the vote.

The Morgan County Sales Tax passed with 856 people voting "yes."

The Ashland Use Tax failed by 57 votes.

Only 24 people voted on Harrisburg Proposition One. It failed, with 19 people voting "no" and 5 people voting "yes."