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Scott County to put use tax on April ballot

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BENTON -- Officials will ask Scott County residents to reinstate a source of revenue struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court.

During their regular meeting Tuesday, Scott County commissioners approved putting on the April election ballot a use tax for out-of-state vehicle purchases.

A decision by the state's high court that went into effect in March ruled that only cities and counties in which voters approve a local use tax can collect the sales tax on vehicles purchased out of state.

"The state deemed we weren't following the state statutes to the letter of the law and determined we couldn't collect the sales tax," said Jamie Burger, presiding county commissioner.

The use tax would not make it any more expensive than buying the vehicle anywhere else within the state, Burger said.

"Basically what it amounts to is addressing out-of-state purchases," he said. "If you buy a car out of state, then the use tax comes into play."

Burger said he just wants to give auto dealers in the county "an even playing field with out-of-state vendors."

"I don't know more than a handful of people who go out of state to buy a vehicle," he said. "Usually they prefer to go to someone they know locally, someone who will answer their questions and provide service. It's pretty common to buy them close to home so I don't know if it's that big of a thing. For the complete article and more stories from the Standard Democrat, log on to the electronic edition.