August 2nd Ballot Question - Use Tax

Belton voters will be asked to consider a local use tax on the August 2nd ballot.

Ballot Language: Shall the City of Belton, Missouri, impose a local use tax at the same rate as the total local sales tax rate, provided that if the local sales tax rate is reduced or raised by voter approval, the local use tax rate shall be reduced or raised by the same action?

Explanatory Statement: Use Tax is collected instead of sales tax when a resident obtains retail goods from an out-of-state vendor in a taxable transaction not subject to sales taxes. The State of Missouri and Cass County already collect Use Taxes on these purchases. Currently, the City receives no Use Tax revenue. If the voters approve a Belton Use Tax, purchases from out of state businesses delivered to a Belton address will be taxed the same as an item purchased in a Belton store. At no time are a Use Tax and sales tax collected on the same transaction, it is one or the other, never both. A purchase will never be taxed twice.

What is a local use tax?

A local use tax applies to the purchase of goods from out-of-state businesses and delivered to a Belton address. It applies only to transactions where a sales tax was not already charged. To keep things simple, local use tax is applied at the same rate as the city’s sales tax. A purchase will never taxed twice.

The State of Missouri and Cass County (4.225 percent and 1.625 percent) already have use taxes in place that apply to the out-of-state purchases made by Belton residents and businesses. Because a use tax is not in place, the City of Belton does not collect a use tax. The State of Missouri mandates a local use tax be the same rate as the city’s sales tax, currently 3.25%.

How much will the City of Belton receive from a use tax?

In 2020, the Missouri Department of Revenue calculated that Belton would have received $1.9 million if the use tax were in place.

How will the fund be spent?

The Steering committee is deciding the most impactful way to spend the funds generated by the use tax, if passed by citizens. 

How do I know the funds will be spent as promised?

On May 10, 2022, the City Council approved the creation of a Steering Committee. If passed by voters, the Steering Committee will become the Oversight Committee that will ensure funds are spent as promised (Resolution 2022-59).

Why is this important to Belton residents?

The funds generated by the use tax would pay for community amenities and upgrade and maintain existing city services that our residents expect and deserve. The city needs to modernize its revenue sources to keep pace with emerging and evolving retail purchasing trends.

Traditionally dependable revenue sources are changing. Consumer shopping habits have shifted from brick-and-mortar sales toward online shopping.

In 2010, less than 5% of total retail sales happened online. During this decade of eCommerce growth, that number more than tripled to 18%. Much of that growth happened in 2020, when eCommerce sales increased by 44%. eCommerce growth may slow, but the share of retail sales that moved online will continue to go up, not down.

1Ecommerce growth from 2010 to 2020. Red Stag Fulfillment. (2021, September 14). Retrieved December 27, 2021, from https://redstagfulfillment.com/2010s-ecommerce-growth-decade/

I already pay sales tax; is this the same thing?

No. The sales tax applies to retail purchases from a Missouri business (both online and in-store). The use tax only applies to purchases made from out-of-state businesses. It’s one or the other, never both. A purchase would never be taxed twice.

Full list of use tax frequently asked questions(PDF, 852KB)

Important Dates: 

Wednesday, July 6th: Last day to register to vote. Register in Cass County.

Monday, August 1st: Last day to in-person absentee vote at the Cass County Clerks office, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 102 E. Wall St, Harrisonville.

Tuesday, August 2nd: Election Day. Polls open 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Learn more about absentee voting or request an absentee ballot at the Cass County Clerk/Election Authority website or contact Cass County Clerk Jeff Fletcher or (816)380-8102.