Voters in a slew of municipalities near Kansas City will be asked Aug. 2 whether they want to preserve sales taxes on vehicles bought from out-of-state dealers.
The decision to keep the tax is in the hands of voters in cities and towns including Archie, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Greenwood, Independence, Lake Lotawana, Lee’s Summit, Lone Jack, Oak Grove, Raymore and Raytown. Sample ballots are available online through election authorities.
A 2012 Missouri Supreme Court ruling requires jurisdictions to seek voter approval to continue collecting revenue on vehicles bought from sellers who aren’t licensed in Missouri. The state legislature passed a bill in 2013 giving taxing entities until November 2016 to receive voters’ say-so.
On May 4, Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill extending the deadline by two years. Taxing jurisdictions now must receive voter approval by November 2018 to continue collecting the tax.
Most of the August ballots were written to continue the tax with a “no” vote, but in some cases, a “yes” vote would continue the tax. Check with local election officials, and read ballots carefully before voting.
The vehicle tax questions include language cautioning voters that ending the tax will lower available local revenue and disadvantage Missouri vehicle dealers compared to out-of-state sellers.
Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross likened the potential loss of about $340,000 in revenue from the tax to having a rug snatched out from under the city’s feet. He said the city would “make the case and let the people know” how a defeat of the tax would affect community services.
“Nine times out of 10, the people step up to the plate, and they respond positively,” he said.
The Jackson County Legislature unanimously passed an ordinance June 13 that will put the vehicle tax question to its voters in November.
Residents of several Northland cities — Lawson, North Kansas City, Pleasant Valley, Parkville, Platte City, Platte Woods and Tracy — voted in April to continue the tax.