On August 2, 2016, the Callaway County Ambulance District will ask the voters of Callaway County to consider a measure that will allow the district to continue collecting sales tax on vehicles, boats, and airplanes. This is not a use tax. Maintenance of this tax will prevent local merchants in the affected areas or items from being put at a competitive disadvantage.
In 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that sales taxes collected on vehicles that were purchased out-of-state were unconstitutional. As a result of this ruling, the district stood to lose a minimum of $60,000 per year in sales tax revenue. This amount of money is enough to cover the wages and benefits for one paramedic or two EMTs. Fortunately, the Legislature passed a bill, which was ultimately signed by the Governor, creating a sales tax on out of state purchases such as those discussed above. This allowed the district to keep collecting sales taxes on these purchases until the end of 2016. The only way the district can continue collecting these sales taxes is if our ballot issues passes on August 2. If the ballot issue fails to pass, the district will lose at least $60,000 based on estimates from the Missouri Department of Revenue, which may cause the district to impose increased property taxes or make cuts to the operating budget. Although we are not and cannot tell you how to vote, we encourage everyone to exercise their right to be heard on this issue by voting on August 2.