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The Lake News Online
  • Special election to break use tax tie set for June

  • The City of Laurie will be having a special election Tuesday, June 4, to break the tie vote on a use tax that was proposed in the April 2 election.
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  • The City of Laurie will be having a special election Tuesday, June 4, to break the tie vote on a use tax that was proposed in the April 2 election.
    The ballot issue proposed a local use tax at the same rate as the local sales tax, currently at a rate of 2 percent, to replace an old sales tax on out-of-state purchases of tangible personal property that total more than $2,000.
    The decision in Street v. Director of Revenue in 2012 changed the existing practice of many cities and counties by prohibiting collection of a local sales tax on a vehicle purchased from an out-of-state vendor. Collections were subsequently ended in March 2012.
    As a result, Laurie officials have estimated its loss of revenue at approximately $4,000.
    The vote in Laurie tied at 92. On the Morgan County side of the city, 92 voted for the measure and 90 against. On the Camden County side, only 2 voters cast a ballot, both against the tax.
    The tax measure previously failed in Laurie in the August 2012 election. In last summer's election, the city was the only to have a use tax measure on the ballot. This time around, four entities pursued the tax as well.
    Morgan and Camden county voters approved the use tax while it failed in the cities of Camdenton and Osage Beach.
    The entities seeking the new use tax also stated on the ballot that the purpose of the use tax is to eliminate the sales tax advantage that non-Missouri vendors have over Missouri vendors.
    The Laurie Board of Aldermen had a choice of holding a special election with a polling place similar to a regular election or by having a ballot printed and mailed to each registered voter in Laurie.
    The board chose to have the special election with polling place. It will cost the city close to $1,000. The option of mailing the ballots was about one-third more expensive than a regular type of election, according to City Clerk Olive Wood.
    Morgan and Camden counties will work together on the single-issue election to utilize only one polling place, likely at the Elks Lodge - if available - where the majority of city residents usually vote in a regular election.
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