Purdy, Verona put use tax on ballot

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

State strategy to limit tax-free advantage of online vendors

City councils in the cities of Verona and Purdy have voted to place a use tax on the ballot for the April 3, 2018, municipal elections, at the request of the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR).

Darlene Parrigon, who serves as city attorney for both towns, told the Verona City Council the step would respond directly to merchants such as Amazon selling to local customers and thus circumventing sales tax payments.

The language of the ordinance said the sales tax rate paid by online vendors would match the rate paid in local transactions.

Verona has a rate of 2.5 percent, while Purdy has a rate of 2 percent.

Aldermen in both towns acknowledged online vendors were skimming city coffers by drawing away income that would otherwise come to the city. None objected to placing the issue on the municipal election ballot, especially since all small towns in the state were following the same plan.

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