Cape Girardeau Won’t Bring Use Tax To November Ballot

Aug 20, 2013

Cape Girardeau’s city council decided Monday night that there is no urgency to put a use tax before voters this November.

A use tax is applied on out-of-state purchases like cars and boat. A Missouri Supreme Court decision invalidated such taxes, but a bill signed by Governor Jay Nixon reinstated the taxes, as long as county and municipal government receive voter approval by 2016.

The Cape Girardeau County government and the City of Jackson may try to put a use tax on this November’s ballot.

Cape Girardeau city manager Scott Meyer said the city council decided to wait.

“They wanted to be more deliberate on that, find out more information, and really look at it and get more public input prior to even putting it on the ballot,” Meyer said.

Meyer said the use tax is a way to treat local retailers fairly, because shoppers can cross state lines to purchase items and avoid the local tax.

“You can go look at what you want to purchase and then go somewhere else and buy it and save the tax,” Meyer said. “So really it’s a way of treating our local retailers fairly as compared to people outside the state.”

Also at Monday night’s meeting, the council gave final approval to a new AT&T cell phone tower on William Street that will improve cell phone coverage downtown.