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County commissioners place use tax on ballot

Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm

The Pike County Commissioners have voted to put a use tax proposition on the Tuesday, April 2 ballot but have yet to announce a rate or details.

Presiding Commis-sioner Danny Miller said last week the rate will likely be less than two percent on big ticket items like cars, trucks, RVs and trailers bought outside of the state.

“This is not really raising taxes,” Miller said. “It’s an out-of-state (purchase) tax. It also makes our businesses here more competitive with surrounding states.”

The county used to have a fee on large items purchased out-of-state that brought in about $80,000 per year, according to Miller. The fee was ruled unconstitutional in Missouri in February 2012 and counties have been scrambling since to make up the lost revenue.

The county commissioners considered a use tax for the November 2012 ballot and had it ready to go until commissioners Curt Mitchell and Roy Sisson Jr. voted to take it off the ballot in late August.

Now, “it’s an opportunity for Pike County to get more revenue to provide better services,” Miller said. “It could go into roads, law enforcement, or economic development.”

Corporations who build new facilities in Pike County would also have to pay for the materials they use here that are bought out-of-state, Miller said.

Ralls County’s use tax was used to make $178,000 off of the REX Company pipeline built in 2008, Miller said.

“The state encourages every county to have a use tax,” Miller said. Details of the tax and the rate will be discussed by the commissioners and outlined in the near future, Miller said.