Columbia and Boone County voters on Tuesday received the chance to approve or reject passage of an internet use tax.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Check back here for updates as results roll in.
Proposition 1 comprised two parts: one to impose a Boone County use tax and the other to impose a City of Columbia use tax.
The use tax would make purchases from online vendors located outside of the state subject to the same sales tax rates as purchases made from local vendors.
The city use tax would be 2%, equal to the sales tax already imposed within city limits.
The county use tax would be at the rate of 1.75%.
If both are passed, residents living within Columbia city limits would be subject to both taxes for a combined rate of 3.75%.
More:April 5 election: What’s on the ballot, who is running for Columbia mayor and city council seats
The city and county taxes both appeared on the ballot for those living within city limits. Non-Columbia residents of Boone County voted only on the county tax.
Neither the city nor the county currently collect a use tax.
Residents would never have to pay both use and sales taxes on the same purchase.
If the county use tax is passed, the county expects to receive an additional $3.7 million in revenue annually.
Passing the tax would allow for the county government’s core services, which do not function out of any other entity, to be carried out with additional resources, Boone County Commissioner Janet Thompson said.
Core functions include public safety as well as road and bridge maintenance, she said. The county’s budget is funded 70% by sales tax that is currently collected, she added.
If voters pass the city use tax, the city expects to receive an additional $5.6 million in annual revenue. Of the revenue, 50% would go to the city’s general fund; 25% would go toward transportation; and 12.5% each would go toward parks and capital improvements, respectively, according to information provided by the city.
“(The tax) would make the purchases made online comparable to purchases made in a local store,” said City of Columbia Finance Director Matthew Lue.
If all purchases were to move online without a use tax, the city would not be able to collect any sales tax, he said. Services paid for by local taxes, including road repairs and the health department, would not receive necessary funding, he said.
Whether the use tax would apply would depend on the location of the purchase. If goods are purchased online from a vendor located in Missouri, sales taxes are applied at the rate of the vendor’s location. If goods are purchased online from a vendor outside the state, the use tax would apply.
Lauren Tronstad covers local government and politics for the Tribune. Contact her at LTronstad@gannett.com or on Twitter @LaurenTronstad.