One Region 8 Business Responds to Upcoming Sales Tax

February 9, 2004 - Posted at 3:50 p.m. CDT

Starting in July, a trip to the dry cleaners could be leaving a stain in your pockets.

After a 61 day record legislative session, lawmakers agreed to a seven-eights of a cent sales tax increase to fund public education. State Representative Chris Thyer voted in favor of the tax increase.

"I reluctantly voted for it. I feel we didn't have a choice in terms of what the Supreme Court was telling us to do," said Thyer.

The measure approved by the legislature also expands the sales tax to some business services not previously taxed, like dry cleaning for example. Other services soon to be taxed include: towing services, collection and disposal of solid waste, body piercing, tattooing, electrolysis and pet grooming and kennell services.

"Other people provide services, attorneys, architects. Why am I taxed and they're not? I don't understand that," said dry cleaning owner Jim Nix.

"The problem with taxing those type of services is that the service itself will leave the state," said Thyer.

"Quite honestly, the reason I think that is because they're lobbying legislators much bigger than mine is," said Nix.

"Had we not voted for a tax increase, I think the Supreme Court would have mandated that that money come off the top. The effect of that would have been that services like DHS and prisons and state police and all other things that government does, they would get cut by that amount," said Thyer.

The increased sales tax will take effect on March 1st. The tax on the new services will be implemented July 1st.