Jackson County Taxpayers Have Had Enough
Jackson County residents voted on adopting a “use” tax last week. Use taxes are simply sales taxes on goods you have delivered to your house. I am not opposed to use taxes, but I have long argued they should be adopted—at least in part—to lower other, more economically harmful taxes instead of just being a way to raise more tax revenue.
Jackson County residents have been through the taxation wringer this year with reassessment. Once again, they were hammered with a poorly managed process, high assessment increases, and insufficient tax rollbacks to offset it. I would guess many voters had just received their property tax bills before they voted on this use tax proposal.
Did those bills have any effect? They almost certainly did, as the use tax was defeated in Jackson County. It actually passed in the Kansas City portion, but the eastern suburbs overwhelmingly voted against it and it failed.
So this means that neither of the two largest counties in Missouri (Jackson and St. Louis) have a use tax. While most of the cities within those two counties do have use taxes, if you live in the unincorporated areas of those counties the sales tax you pay on goods delivered to your home should be just the state rate of 4.225%. (I would bet some stores or delivery companies are incorrectly charging more. Check your receipts.)
The next time Jackson County asks for a use tax, which they should not do for a while out of respect for the voter’s decision, they might have better luck if they promise an offsetting tax cut at the same time.