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Marceline Use Tax set to incentivize local business

Henry Janssen
hjanssen@linncountyleader.com

Proposition 1 in Marceline -- by far the closest vote in Linn County’s June 2 elections -- was mostly devoid of public discussion prior to the ballot being presented.

The prop, which passed with 54 percent of 296 voters, was expected to receive a town hall weeks before the election. Given the pandemic climate, that was unable to take place.

Lindsay Krumpelman, city clerk of Marceline, said that there has not been any impasse despite how divisive the vote appears.

“We received little input aside from people simply asking how the tax worked,” she said. “We didn’t really have negative comments on the proposition, and people who disapproved voted that way.

“We posted on Facebook trying to create a discussion about the proposition, and it never really took off.”

The collection of the tax is set to begin in October. The tax is imposed upon out-of-state vendors with a “nexus in Missouri,” as the legislation is written. The tax begins at two percent, and will raise or lower as the Marceline sales tax fluctuates.

In essence, the proposition is intended to drive revenue for the city from online purchases, therefore incentivizing local residents to shop in their hometown. Krumpelman said that roadways and the funding of a recently-purchased firetruck are at the top of the list for municipal needs to which the tax is allocated.

Businesses will report their Use Tax quarterly, and just as traditionally, individuals will report on April 15. Communities throughout Linn County have Use Taxes implemented, including Brookfield, Bucklin, and Browning.

“I thought that this would probably be a pretty close vote, and it definitely was,” Krumpelman said. “The language is confusing and taxes are always a complex thing.

“The City of Marceline provided a simplified version (of the language), but it’s still not an easy thing to make a decision on. The fact that we didn’t really have a chance to talk face-to-face with people and explain it definitely didn’t help.”