Here's the latest on sales tax developments around the country:
Voters in Carthage, Missouri, approved on Tuesday a 2.75% sales tax on out-of-state purchases of vehicles, boats, trailers, and any other items requiring Missouri titles. The issue arose from a 2012 ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court striking down what was then a use tax on the same type of large ticket items purchased out-of-state by Missouri residents. Following the ruling, the city estimates it lost out on around $65,000 of tax revenue. The state legislature passed a remedy reinstating the use tax, however Carthage voters rejected the renewal in 2013. The use tax would have allowed the city to collect taxes on some online sales as well, but it wasn't until re-writing the measure as a sales tax that it finally gained approval from voters.
Cook County, IL
Illinois municipalities are crying foul over a 2% fee imposed by the Illinois Department of Revenue on local sales tax dollars. The state expects the fee, which aims to cover the expenses incurred administering taxes for local governments, to net around $60 million in revenue. It will affect all towns regardless of whether or not they have home-rule authority. Chicago suburb Hanover Park expects to lose out on about $100,000 in sales tax revenue due to the new fee, which mayor Rodney Craig describes as an overreach. Likewise, the town of Elk Grove Village estimates a forfeiture of $170,000 to the fee; Elgin $220,000; and Schaumburg $420,000.
In additional news of discontent from Cook County, a penny-per-ounce tax on soda and other sweetened beverages went into effect last week. The measure has an approval rating of 12% among Chicago residents; yet officials claim that it stands to raise $200 million a year for the city, as well as promote healthier dietary choices.
Citrus County, FL
A sales tax increase may be on its way to the ballot in Citrus County, FL. Both County Commissioner Ron Kitchen Jr. and Board Chairman Scott Carnahan recently voiced support for such a measure as a way to pay for resurfacing county roads. Both men opposed a tentative increase in property taxes last June, signaling that voters would favor a sales tax increase. The county currently spends close to $3 million annually from the gas tax on road resurfacing. A $0.01 sales tax increase would bring in around $12 million per year, and could see discussion at the board's next public hearing in September.
Check back regularly with us for more sales tax news.