If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
I want to take a moment to explain the sales tax that Scotland County Ambulance District is proposing. The Ambulance District has not had a tax increase of any kind in over 30 years. This tax is a special tax that can be proposed by Ambulance and Fire Districts only. The reason that it is different than other sales tax is that it goes back to the property tax to lower it. If the half cent sales tax is passed. One quarter of the half cent will return to the property owners by a decrease in your ambulance property taxes by up to 70% estimated. The other quarter of the half cent will return to the Scotland County Ambulance District to be used for operational use. Things that can be considered operational use are medical equipment purchases, medical supply purchases, updated ambulances, recruitment of new employees, and continuing education of current employees to name just a few. This sales tax will lift the burden off of the property owner and has everyone contribute that purchases goods and services in Scotland County rather you own property in Scotland County or not. For example during hunting seasons we see an influx of people from out of state and also from outside our county that does not own any property in Scotland County, this would make them responsible for it as well since they are staying in the county and consuming goods and services here.
If in the future the revenue from the sales tax is high enough (meaning more businesses come in or there is an increase in sales of something) this tax could reduce the property tax to $0.00 by the way of the quarter cent that is going to lower the property tax. Which means to the property owner, you will not be paying any property tax to the Ambulance District if that were to ever happen.
The first year establishes a baseline for the sales tax. The second year after passed and forward is when you as a property owner will see the decrease in your property tax. So if passed in June 2020, you the property owner will see a decrease in your 2021 property tax as the first year (2020) is the baseline year.
Why Switch from property to sales tax?
Property owners pay the current tax burden, with this it is a fairer way to include all residents to pay their share of the tax.
A large percentage of our transports from the hospital are not county residents. Meaning they do not help pay the current property tax, with the proposed sales tax them or their families would be paying a part of it when they stop in town to purchase something.
We are on major US highway. Meaning that several people travel through our county and stop to buy stuff here. They are not paying a property tax on the district which they have a potential to use while they are in the county. With the sales tax they become responsible for it too, when they stop and buy something.
Here are some questions and answers:
Q: Will a sales tax affect all purchases in our district?
A: Not all purchases. Items such as medication, labor, and farm supplies are not taxable.
Q: How will businesses be affected?
A: Businesses are appraised at a different tax rate then residential. Meaning that business and residential owners will both see a decrease in ambulance property tax.
Q: How will this affect senior citizens or those that are on a fixed income with medical problems?
A: It lowers their personal property taxes and many of the goods and services that they use are non-taxable.
As of April 15, 2019, 57 other ambulances districts and several fire protection districts’ have passed this sales tax to provide operational funding for their respective districts in Missouri. Clark County and Adair County are just two of the counties that already have this in place.
submitted by Erick Byrn FP-C, EMS Director, Scotland County Ambulance District