(MACON, MO) On Tuesday April 2nd, 2019, voters within the city limits of Macon, Missouri will get to vote on whether or not the City of Macon can start collecting a use tax that will be assessed through online purchases and catalog purchases. The "Use Tax" is similar to a sales tax but for online transactions through out-of-state vendors (only) - taxpayers will not be taxed for both the use tax and the sales tax when buying items from online platforms like Walmart, Amazon, etc. Furthermore, the revenue would go into the general fund of the city. The State of Missouri is estimating that if the tax is approved on Tuesday, the city of Macon is estimated to collect an approximate revenue of $67,762 per year. Passing the use tax will not increase the sales tax. As stated in the ballot language, the use tax percentage that voters will vote on is 2.25% which is equivalent to the current sales tax in Macon. Subject to the ballot language, if passed, the use tax will fluctuate in accordance with the sales tax if and when, decided by voters in the future.

According to the city audit, the general sales tax revenue (assessed in store) fell by approximately $33,325.76 from 2017 to 2018 within the city of Macon. Reported by Fortune, a survey of 5,000 individuals conducted by UPS and comScore, people are partaking more in the e-commerce industry rather than offline in-store purchases. 51% of those in the 2016 survey, buy more online than in store, up from 48% in 2015. According to a 2018 survey of 2,500 consumers from around the world, 70% of those surveyed are purchasing, "consumer packaged goods" better known as online or catalog goods and purchases - the survey was conducted by Periscope by McKinsey. The Harvard Business Review back in 2011 reviewed the increase of e-commerce, with the online industry 10 years ago making close to $200 billion dollars in revenue up from 4% of total retail purchases in the previous four years. According to the US Census Bureau Figures, over the last two decades, U.S. online retail sales have grown exponentially, rising from 5 million in 1998 to 389 million in 2016.

Cities around the area that are currently assessing their version of the "Use Tax" include Atlanta (2018), Brookfield (1998), Bucklin (1996), Callao (2018), Chillicothe (2016), Clark (2013), Edina (2018), Hannibal (2015), Huntsville (2013), Kirksville (2013), Memphis (2014), Moberly (2013), New Cambria (2013), Palmyra (1999), Paris (2018), Salisbury (2014), and Shelbyville (2014).

The following is the ballot language of the proposal:

"Shall the City of Macon, Missouri impose a local use tax at the same rate as the total local sales tax rate, currently 2.25%, provided that if the local sales tax rate is reduced or raised by voter approval, the local use tax shall also be reduced or raised by the same action? A use tax return shall not be required to be filed by persons whose purchases from out-of-state vendors do not in total exceed two thousand dollars in any calendar year."

Voters will vote "yes" or "no" on Tuesday April 2nd, 2019 in the General Municipal Election.