Chamber supports use tax proposals

    The St. James Chamber of Commerce fully supports the passage of Proposition A, the proposed use tax. Use tax is the application of the local sales tax rate on purchases made out-of-state, particularly from internet and online purchases.

    The Chamber of Commerce believes the use tax is a fair tax. Currently local retailers are at a disadvantage with online and out-of-state purchases who do not collect and remit local taxes. Without the use tax to level the playing field, the on-line retailers have an advantage of two percent, compared to the local retailer.
    If you pay the local sales tax when making purchases, you will never pay the use tax. You only pay one, but never both. The St. James city use tax is the same as the city sales tax and cannot be raised without the citizen’s approval of an increase in the current sales tax. Also, should the citizens decide to reduce the current sales tax, the use tax will be reduced by the same amount.
    Passage of the use tax for the city of St. James will go to provide funding to make the needed improvements to Tri- County Humane Society building. This is the only no-kill animal shelter in the area for which these tax dollars will provide a steady funding source.
    Proposition A revenue will also be used to supply and upgrade the technology needed for the police department. New radios for both the cruisers and the officers as well as body cameras. Computers for the cars so we know where the officers are and they can have information at their fingertips instead of having to rely on the radios for all of their information. This is exceptionally inefficient because of all the radio traffic between Rolla, St. James, and the county.
    The Chamber members are active members of our community. They are your friends and neighbors, that have invested in the city of St. James by their presence here in the city. Chamber members support the band, the sports teams, 4-H, FFA, Future Business Leaders, and other clubs and civic organizations within the community. They help to organize citywide events and encourage business growth to help bring in revenue to the area and to the city.
    The St. James Chamber of Commerce also supports the Phelps County use tax. The county is facing the same issues as the city of St. James in meeting increasing cost without reducing services.
Robin Ziegler
St. James
Chamber of Commerce

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