Not everyone celebrating a sales tax holiday

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - With the start of school just around the corner, Region 8 parents are looking to save money any way they can.  If you plan to travel to Missouri for their sales tax holiday you might want to listen up!  Many towns are in the same shape as the people who shop in them less money is coming in.  It is like a double edged sword for cities and shoppers this weekend.

"Our main source of revenue is our sales tax," said Kennett Mayor Roger Wheeler.

"In the status that we're in today the economy is terrible so every little bit helps," said parent Shannon Hill.

That's the same thing Mayor Wheeler is saying.  With a down economy, cash flow for the city is also down.

"Right now we're already several thousand dollars behind on our sales tax revenue," said Wheeler.

Last year the city passed an ordinance that the city will not be a part of the holiday, still charging the city tax of 1.125%.  Wheeler said that's the lowest in Missouri!

"We're hurting and I apologize to the public, but we haven't had a sales tax increase since 1980," said Wheeler.

While they understand the situation the city is in shoppers are also seeing hard times and were expecting the full discount.

"It's only fair that they give the discount but I wish that the city would actually give the rest of the discount," said Hill.

Hill and three of her children drove from Rector over to Kennett to take advantage of the holiday.

"It is a good discount because I'm saving probably $8 on the rest of the sales tax today so it does help.  It does add up," said Hill.

Anywhere you shop in Missouri you will not pay the state taxes, which is usually the biggest chunk charged.  Mayor Wheeler said this is just a sign of the times.  The city has already cut the budget by 5% because of the drop in revenue.

"In the last year and a half to two years, with the economy shrinking the way that it has, our sales tax revenue has declined too much for us to survive," said Wheeler.

There are six Region 8 cities in Southeast Missouri including Doniphan, Hayti, Kennett, New Madrid, Poplar Bluff and West Plains that will be charging the city sales tax this weekend.

©2009 KAIT
 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.