On Tuesday, St. Francis County officials will ask residents to approve a use tax to collect taxes on internet purchases.
County Auditor Louie Seiberlich explained why the proposal is necessary for county funding.
“If someone owed you $1 million, what would you do to get it back?” He asked. “Almost every internet company charges sales tax. I go online to Amazon and buy a golf club, add to cart and go to checkout and it automatically says ‘Missouri Sales Tax.’ If you live in Farmington it says “Farmington City Tax” This is automatically added to my bill and I pay it Amazon gets the money.
“This is not a new tax. This tax was imposed in the 1990s in this county; the Ministry of Revenue sent the money. The Auditor and Treasurer at the time put the money in the bank and didn’t spend it because they thought something was wrong because it hadn’t been returned to the voters. Sure enough, the Supreme Court came back and said we owed all that money to the Department of Revenue.
People also read…
Seiberlich has contacted Cape Girardeau County regarding their use tax collections, as he considers it to be an economically similar county.
“They collected the tax in 2019 and brought in $1.3 million…Last year they got $3 million. This user fee would be split between general revenue, law enforcement and senior centers. We would spend our share on better roads, general services and law enforcement. If you want better county government, you have to pay for it.
The main thing for Seiberlich is that the money is there, the county deserves it.
“I’m thinking of Plummer’s Hardware and Gifford Lumber Company, the hometown stores,” he said. “They charge sales tax, they have no choice. It is estimated that e-commerce sales will reach 20-30% in the next two years. It is outside the local market.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629 or [email protected]