Tuesday's Fulton City Council meeting will see the reintroduction of a use tax proposal rejected by voters in April 2018.
The ordinance to approve the ballot measure for inclusion during the April 7, 2020, election will undergo its first reading Tuesday evening. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Fulton City Hall, following the 6:30 p.m. city council work session on parks and recreation facility fee waivers.
A use tax is a self-reported tax placed upon out-of-state purchases — mainly over the internet.
If passed, it would add a 2.5 percent tax to purchases made out-of-state by Fulton residents. Missouri and Callaway County already have use taxes in place, at 4.225 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Up to $2,000 in purchases per person per year would be exempt, according to the ballot language.
It primarily affects purchases made over the internet from out-of-state vendors. If you order something online from a business in Missouri, the use tax wouldn't apply. Likewise, if — for example — you got in your car, drove to Arkansas, bought a boat, paid Arkansas' sales tax and drove it back to Missouri, the use tax wouldn't apply.
In other words, a use tax applies only where the sales tax doesn't.
This new proposal varies slightly from the rejected 2018 tax in that the first $200,000 of annual revenue is specifically designated to be used for public safety capital expenditures, with subsequent money going toward the city's general revenue. The 2018 tax had all funds going toward general revenue, though that fund does pay for Fulton's police department and other public safety-related services.
Tuesday's meeting will also feature further discussion of a potential contract between the city and S&A Equipment and Builders to begin site excavation at the future home of a baseball/softball field complex. Council members tabled that contract at the previous two meetings to focus on funding for the planned City of Fulton recreation center.
During the work session preceding the meeting, council members will discuss policies for when to grant waivers to groups wishing to rent parks and recreation facilities for events. Previously, the council has allowed groups such as United Way, Super Sam, CARDV and the Callaway County Humane Society to use facilities for free.
Thus far in 2019, the city has collected $12,249 in facility rental fees and has waived a further $6,120, according to the agenda materials.
Other meeting agenda items include changes to the city code on historical preservation, a contract with the county for public emergency communications operation services, the 2020 city budget, changes to the fire code and more. Copies of the agenda are available at Fulton City Hall.