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Across Missouri, the state government's sales taxes total 4.225 percent.
However, consumers often pay more than that based on where they make their purchases — because county and city governments and special districts (like fire departments, ambulance services or transportation development districts) also have the authority to charge sales taxes with their voters' approval.
For instance, Cole County has a 1.5 percent sales tax, and Jefferson City has a 2 percent tax.
Transportation Development Districts — such as Jefferson City's Stoneridge Village development with Kohl's, Sam's Club and others; the Commons of Hazel Hills, just west of St. Mary's Hospital and the new Capital City High School; and the U.S. 50/63 and Cityview District that includes the east-side Walmart — all have the ability to impose up to an extra 1 percent sales tax.
In Callaway County, there's a 1 percent countywide sales tax, while Holts Summit imposes an additional 3 percent, New Bloomfield has a 1.5 percent sales tax and Fulton's local sales tax is 2.5 percent.
On Monday, the state Department of Revenue announced its new, interactive online map that can help taxpayers figure out those varying taxing layers.
"The Sales Tax Jurisdiction Maps application satisfies the statutory requirements of House Bill 1858," which lawmakers passed in 2018, the department explained in a news release.
Acting Revenue Director Ken Zellers said in the release: "With this new feature, any consumer in Missouri will be able to quickly find out how many different taxing authorities are in a given area, as well as the sales tax rates for each authority. With greater transparency, consumers in Missouri will be able to make the most informed decisions regarding their purchases."
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The initial map shows the entire state, but a zoom feature can help users pinpoint specific counties or cities they want more information about.
Last year's state law directed the department to create and maintain an online mapping feature on its official public website that displays the tax information of Missouri's political subdivisions that have sales tax authority.
The maps display the geographical boundaries of political subdivisions such as cities, counties, ambulance districts, fire protection districts, community improvement districts, transportation development districts and more. Additionally, users have the option of superimposing those boundaries on Missouri's House and Senate districts.
The online map itself carries some precautions: "This map is not a legal survey and only displays sales tax rates, not use tax rates. Although this map has been compiled by the Missouri Department of Revenue, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the department as to the accuracy of the data and related material."
The introductory paragraphs also say the "Revenue Department isn't responsible for any damage or loss resulting from" someone's use of the information on the map.