Search news

Monday, March 29, 2021

Butler internet use tax question: It may not be what you think

Editors note: It seems when anyone hears the word TAX, they tend to think it's just more coming out of their pockets. However, that is not the case regarding the internet use tax question on the April 6 ballot. The short answer lies in yellow highlight below

The City of Butler has placed a question on this April’s ballot regarding an internet use tax. This question was proposed in 2018 along with the vehicle use tax as well. Although the vehicle use tax passed, the internet use tax didn’t. So, the City is asking once again, if the City of Butler should collect this use tax as do some more than 160 cities in Missouri do?

This use tax is at the current rate as the Butler Sales Tax of 3.625%. The use tax will always be based upon the sales tax and will never be more or less.

There are two main reasons for this use tax. First, according to the Missouri Municipal League, the City of Butler could be losing more than $225,000 in additional revenue. This lost revenue must be made up in other places and is getting more difficult to operate without it.

The second main reason is to level the playing field for our local retailers. At the present time, our hard-working retailers not only have to compete with big box stores, but internet sales as well. These are the same people that make our community what it is today. We ask so much from them from employment to donating to just about every cause out there.

The Use Tax will not increase the local sales tax. For the vast majority of purchases made by our residents, passing this proposal will not change anything. The use tax is applied to some out-of-state and online purchases and is only collected when sales taxes are not already collected by the seller. The state of Missouri already collects the state use tax. This proposal simply adds our local portion.

If you have any questions, please contact the City Administrator, Mike West at City Hall, (660) 679-4182 or email mwest_cob@earthlink.net.