2017 sales tax total surpasses 2015 record

What appeared to have been a very good year for Marion County in terms of general revenue fund monies collected has instead become a record-setter, thanks to a recent “supplemental distribution” of local sales tax by the Missouri Department of Revenue (MoDOR).

According to a letter from the state, which was read at the Dec. 18 meeting of the county commission in Palmyra, a new system implemented by the MoDOR in September 2017 to process sales and use tax returns is being cited for an underpayment of revenue that was due.

“As is always the case there have been challenges implementing a new system and our experience with this system has been no different. As we have worked through these challenges we have experienced some delay in our distribution (of tax revenues) to cities, counties and districts,” stated the MoDOR letter. “To remedy this the department has taken extraordinary action by making a supplemental distribution of local sales and use taxes that had been collected through Nov. 30, 2017, but not distributed as would be our normal practice during the regular scheduled distribution in early December.”

The $35,560.39 supplemental payment to Marion County raised its general revenue half cent sales tax total in 2017 to $2,097,180.21, which represents a new revenue record, according to County Clerk Valerie Dornberger. The county record for half-cent sales tax was set just two years ago when $2,082,239.83 was collected.

“The state is working out the bugs in their system, but it's good news to us,” said Presiding Commissioner Lyndon Bode.

“We will take it,” added Western District Commissioner Steve Begley regarding the additional money.

Because the same half-cent tax took in $2,045,662.18 in 2016, the county has established a record-setting trend by having topped $2 million for three consecutive years.

As for the use tax, Marion County received a supplemental payment of $18,734.91. That boosted the county's use tax total for the year to $527,924.02.

While the supplemental revenue boosted the county past its 2016 use tax total of $517,241.36, it did not approach its 2015 record of $964,566.42. The 2017 total also lagged behind the amounts generated in 2012 ($549,314.51) and 2013 ($554,211.92).

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com