New Haven voters will get to decide if the city should keep collecting sales tax on vehicles purchased out of state.
A proposition will appear on the ballot for the April 5 municipal election asking New Haven voters if the city should continue collecting the local sales tax on the titling of motor vehicles, trailers, boats, and outboard motors that were purchased out of state.
Approval of the measure will result in a loss of revenue for the city. New Haven City Administrator Steve Roth said it’s been estimated the city could lose $10,000 if the measure passes.
Roth said that figure is roughly 2 percent of all sales tax revenue collected by the city.
“It would be something that certainly you would notice,” Roth said.
Roth said the issue is similar to the county’s Proposition F, which will also be on the ballot for the April election.
Because of a state law passed in 2014, either a use tax or a sales tax needed to be approved by voters or the collecting agency. Cities or counties that don’t have a voter-approved measure would be unable to collect the revenue after November 2016.
“We proposed that to the board of aldermen and asked if they wanted to put this on the ballot or not,” Roth said. “There was a little discussion over it — I think there was some question on just how many people would want to go out of state to buy a vehicle here from New Haven. It would be a fair distance. Ultimately, it was just a simple thing of letting the voters decide.”
New Haven’s proposition language is different from the county. New Haven residents will be asked if the city should stop collecting the revenue, whereas the county is asking voters to continue the sales tax.
“A no vote says no, don’t discontinue it,” Roth said.
Roth said the ballot language was provided by the Missouri Municipal League.
“Rather than writing our ballot language, we just said we’ll do what they recommend and leave it at that,” Roth said.
The full ballot language reads “Shall the City of New Haven, Missouri, discontinue applying and collecting the local sales tax on the titling of motor vehicles, trailers, boats, and outboard motors that were purchased from a source other than a licensed Missouri dealer?
“Approval of this measure will result in a reduction of local revenue to provide services for the City of New Haven, Missouri, and it will place Missouri dealers of motor vehicles, outboard motors, boats, and trailers at a competitive disadvantage to non-Missouri dealers of motor vehicles, outboard motors, boats, and trailers.”