Camdenton, Osage Beach to consider putting "use tax" issue on future ballot
If you live in Camden County, and you buy something online or on your phone from an out-of-state shop, the county already gets their share of the tax collected by the state on that purchase.
Now, Osage Beach and Camdenton are considering asking voters to add a use tax to their cities.
"It's not a new tax, it's just a tax that we as Osage Beach potentially are missing out of by not having that in place," said Jeana Woods, Osage Beach City Administrator.
With more and more people shopping online on sites like Amazon, which is holding their "Prime Day" Monday and Tuesday, people spend less time and money shopping in physical stores.
"We think that the larger organizations such as Amazon should be paying, assisting somewhat, in keeping a level playing field with our own businesses in Camdenton," said Jeff Hancock, Camdenton City Administrator.
A use tax wouldn't bring in a ton of money, "We estimate that it would generate about $82,000," Hancock said.
But, the only way cities can access that money, which is already collected by Amazon and given to the state, is to put it on a ballot for voters.
"We don't campaign for or against anything," Woods said. "Our job is to get the facts to the community so they can make an educated decision. But, we've got to make that decision on when to put it on there, and they've got to be doing that in August."
The deadline for either of cities to get a use tax issue on the November ballot is to submit it to the County Clerk by August 28th.