The use tax was unofficially approved by voters April 2. The tax will place a 2.375% sales tax on any online out-of-state purchases. The tax originally appeared on the November ballot and was rejected by voters.
In 2016, the Department of Revenue estimated Maryville citizens spent $10.4 million online to out-of-state vendors. If the use tax had been in place it would have generated approximately $245,000 a year.
City Manager Greg McDanel said he believes people spend even more online today, and that is why he decided to first introduce and push for the use tax to be passed.
McDanel said he and the city are elated that voters passed the use tax as it is a growing problem he believed needed to be addressed.
“This was an issue that wasn’t going away for the city of Maryville as online sales continue to increase,” McDanel said.
Executive Director of the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce Lily White said she hopes the passage of the tax will help local brick and mortar stores in town and believes it can be really useful for Maryville.
“We are also aware that online sales are not going to go away. They are just going to go up, so this helps us as a community maintain and recapture the cost that we are going to be losing for local taxes,” White said. “So, we can continue to budget for our streets and for any kind of upkeep that this city needs to do that we would otherwise be losing with online shopping.”
McDanel said he wanted to acknowledge everyone who has worked with him to get the use tax back on the ballot and those who allowed it to pass.
“We want to thank first the voters for taking the time since November to learn a little bit more about the issue and how it impacts the community,” McDanel said. “We want to thank the various partners we’ve had through this process from the Chamber of Commerce to Northwest Missouri State University’s public relations class to just various people who have seen the importance of this issue too.”
White said the Chamber of Commerce supported the tax because they believed it would help close the gap between online and in-store sales tax.
“This tax was a priority for us because it evens the playing field between our local businesses that have to charge the sales tax and the online business that they are directly competing with that before wouldn’t have had to charge the sales tax,” White said.
McDanel said the use tax will go into effect July 1.
“When that does (go into effect), we will start tracking those revenues and see how close those revenues come to projections, and we will take that into account for the next budget season,” McDanel said.
Also on the April 2 ballot was elections to the West Nodaway R-I School District. James Graham, Scott Conn and Amanda Walker have unofficially won those seats. Kenna Florea and a write-in unofficially won the seats for Northwest Nodaway R-V School District.
Seats on the Nodaway County Ambulance District were also on the ballot. For Nodaway County Ambulance Sub-District 5, Scott A. Walk unofficially won. William Tye Parsons also unofficially won the three-year term for City of Maryville council person.
Official election results will be released April 5.