The issue of the police and firefighters pension sales tax crossed a new threshold on November 3rd as Springfield voters approved a 3/4 cent sales tax. The City of Springfield Web site states the tax won't take effect until April 2010, with the city receiving its first revenue in June.
How about its impact on the individual consumer? How will shopping in Springfield compare to nearby communities from April onward?
According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, once the new tax takes effect, Springfield's overall sales tax will be $7.60 on a $100 purchase. (The present comparable sales tax is $6.85.) Surrounding communities have a broad sales tax range:
A major discount retailer with multiple area locations has a $398 laptop deal. The Springfield sales tax would be $27.26 currently. As of April, the tax would be $30.25, an increase of $2.99. Given AAA's driving-cost figure of 54 cents per mile, driving out of town to beat that increase probably wouldn't make sense for most people since driving more than 5.5 miles would cancel out the savings. And that's if you're driving a sedan -- the driving cost for minivans is 58.8 cents and for SUVs is 68.4 cents.
The question of product availability and selection should also be considered. We've used our Reference USA database* to determine that Springfield has the most retailers at 2,781. Joplin is a distant second at 1,122. After that the numbers fall off -- Branson (725), Nixa (249), Bolivar (235), Ozark (217) and Willard (51).
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