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  2. Jackson Voters to Decide on City Use Tax

    On April 2, Jackson voters will consider passage of a local use tax, a tax collected on products purchased outside of Missouri and assessed at the same rate as the local sales tax. 

    “For the City of Jackson, our sales tax rate is currently 2.5 cents for every dollar spent – which is the lowest among cities in our region,” said Mayor Dwain Hahs.  “On a national scale, online sales are growing at triple the rate of local, brick-and-mortar sales.  Nearly everyone has purchased something online in the last year.  Without a use tax in place, municipalities are losing sales tax revenue that otherwise would have been available had the purchase been made locally instead of online.” 

    For Jackson, that currently equates to an estimated $600,000 to $750,000 in revenue each year, dependent on the amount of out-of-state purchases made in a specific year.  That number is only expected to increase, as online purchasing continues to grow.  Both Cape Girardeau County and the State of Missouri already have a use tax in place. 

    “In addition to providing an important revenue stream for the City, use tax also levels the playing field for local businesses, preventing out-of-state sellers from having an unfair advantage,” said Hahs.

    Over time, revenue from a use tax will enable the City of Jackson to fund projects that cannot move forward with current revenue streams.  This includes priority projects identified by Jackson residents in a 2017 community survey, such as: 

    • The addition of street lights on East Jackson Boulevard between Walmart and Interstate 55

    • Startup costs associated with optional curbside recycling

    • A new or upgraded City swimming pool, as the current pool reaches the end of its 40-year lifespan 

    A use tax isn’t a double tax, nor is it a tax rate increase, said Hahs.  

    “If you already pay a local sales tax on a purchase, you won’t pay a use tax.  If you don’t purchase products from outside of Missouri, you won’t pay a use tax,” he added.   

    For an average person who spends $500 in online purchases from out-of-state sellers each year, use tax on those purchases would equate to $12.50. 

    “While the impact on the individual will be small, use tax represents a big opportunity for the City, as we look at future growth and funding projects we know are important to residents,” said Hahs.  “We encourage voters to take time and become educated on this issue before stepping into the voting booth on April 2.

    Log on to JacksonMO.org to learn more about the upcoming use tax and vehicle administrative fee issues.

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    City of Jackson
    101 Court Street
    Jackson, MO 63755  
    Phone:  (573) 243-3568   
    Fax:  (573) 243-4588
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