The Joplin City Council decided Monday night in a unanimous vote to have voters decide whether or not to impose a use tax of just over 2% for vehicles and boats bought out-of-state. Finance Director Leslie Haase says a Supreme Court ruling saying cities couldn't charge sales taxes on out-of-state purchases without a use tax in place is hurting Joplin:
"With this region's proximity to three neighboring states, the ruling could have a devastating impact on governments and businesses. The state estimated in April 2012 that Joplin would lose approximately $431,600 annualy."
She also called a pair of bills Governor Jay Nixon signed into law that would've tried to lessen the damage a "temporary fix." The measure will be on the November 5th ballot.
Some land owned by the Quapaw Tribe near Downstream Casino could soon become part of the City of Joplin. The City Council approved a first reading of an annexation agreement concerning land near the Route 166 roundabout, but Tribe Chairman John Berry told the Council he needed more information before it could be finalized.
"We just have a lot of questions. We've requested information, and I don't know what the communication problem is, but we've had a lot of problems just getting to sit down and look at what all's being annexed."
Berry went on to say that he was in favor of having Joplin absorb the property, he just wanted the Council to have a meeting with the tribe to hash out the details. That meeting may happen, as the measure will need to pass second and third readings before it becomes official.