Archive for Thursday, January 22, 2004

Low retail keeps sales tax steady

January 22, 2004

The sales tax for Eudora did not have a drastic change in 2003.
"We don't have a whole lot of retail," said City Administrator Mike Yanez. "It's pretty much steady."
Yanez said the city's 2004 budget estimated the revenue from local sales taxes at $85,000.
"As Eudora continues to increase in size," he said, "more retail may be attracted."
Even though there may not be a whole lot of retail, there are still Eudora businesses that are being affected by the point of delivery sales tax change.
Sara Ritter, executive director of De Soto Chamber of Commerce had dealt extensively with the tax. She said the point of delivery sales tax meant if anything was bought in Eudora but delivered outside of Eudora, the customer would have to pay the sales tax in the town he or she lived in, not Eudora's sales tax.
This caused issues with business owners throughout Kansas because retailers would have to do a considerable amount of extra paperwork, as well as find the sales tax rate in the city it was delivering to, Ritter said.
"Small retailers who used to do 20 minutes of paperwork are now doing a couple of hours of paperwork," Ritter said. "I think this is hitting the small retailers the hardest."
Bobbie Stockstill, who handles the finances at Eudora Carpet, said the company delivered outside of Eudora on a regular basis.
"Every month we have at least one delivery outside of Eudora," she said. "Usually more."
Stockstill said the process was not completely clear when the change was first made.
"At first it was confusing," Stockstill said. "But it's no problem now."
Stockstill said the main problem was being uninformed about what to do."Let's say we were making a delivery in Ottawa," she said. "I'd have to figure out what (the sales tax) is for Ottawa."
But Stockstill said the problem was fixed immediately.
"(The Kansas Department of Revenue) provided a link on the Internet," she said. "We also received a booklet and paper information with stuff walking us through step by step."
Ritter said the Web site had a calculator, with the sales tax rate for every city in Kansas.
"It's there to make it as less stressful as possible," Ritter said.
Ritter said the Web site would provide an option to download the calculator onto computers this month.
Stockstill said the change has not necessarily been negative but rather a bit more hectic and time-consuming.
Ritter said the sales tax change was not official.
"(Gov. Kathleen Sebelius) is asking businesses to do it on an honor basis and abide by the change," she said. "Retailers are asked to do it to the best of their ability. They haven't officially said, 'You have to do it.'"
Ritter also said there would not be any sort of watchdog for businesses who do not abide by the sales tax change.

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