CARTHAGE, MO – Online shopping is in the spotlight as leaders in a southwestern Missouri city as voters to consider tax use.
Carthage city leaders are asking voters to reflect the city’s sales tax online.
They say it’s a matter of fairness to the brick and mortar stores that operate within the city limits.
“When it comes to clothes, it’s a lot easier to try on things here. Says Sarah Hoover, Carthage Shopper.
Hoover says she will buy some things online, but doesn’t pay much attention to sales tax on her purchase.
“I don’t think it would be big enough to make a difference.” Hoover said.
Now, the city of Carthage is asking Hoover and other residents to decide whether or not to add municipal sales tax online.
“Ours is 2.75% because our taxes are split at about 1% for the general fund, half a percent for capital improvements, half a percent for park stormwater, half a percent for transportation and a quarter percent for the fire. So this same distribution would go through the tax. Said Tom Short, administrator of the city of Carthage.
A state estimate puts the potential increase in income at $ 250,000 to $ 400,000 per year.
But city leaders add that an even bigger impact would come from leveling the playing field between traditional and online retailers.
“Basically, leveling everything out so that local sellers can compete with online sellers and impose the same tax on an individual’s same merchandise bill. I guess with the COVID pandemic, as it happened. It just showed how many people were staying at home just buying stuff and not paying tax on it. Said short.
The city administrator says there is no earmarking for how the money would be spent, but points out that it would help cushion the city’s budget as inflation rises.
“You can just see that inflation with construction goods is skyrocketing and depends on who you listen to, this trend is going to continue, it is not going to go away for a while, it is going to get worse. »Said short.
Voters in Carthage will decide whether or not to approve online use later this summer.
The ballot question will appear at the polls on August 3.