FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:  Out-of-State Sales Tax on the Purchase of Motor Vehicles, Trailers, Boats and Outboard Motors

On Tuesday, April 5th, 2016, Audrain County voters will be asked to consider the continuation of an existing sales tax on purchases of out-of-state motor vehicles, trailers, boats and outboard motors.

What is the sales tax about? A Missouri Supreme Court Case (Street vs. the Director of Revenue) in 2012, followed by subsequent state legislation (HB 184/SB 182) in 2013, required that counties without a use tax (such as Audrain Co.) must receive voter approval by November 2016 to continue sales tax collections on purchases of out-of-state motor vehicles, trailers, boats and outboard motors.

Is this a new tax? No. The County has been receiving this tax since 1947. The question is on the ballot only as a result of the Missouri Supreme Court decision and the state legislation that followed. If the question is not placed on the ballot, or if the tax is discontinued by voters, the tax would cease to be collected beginning January 2017.

How does the tax affect me? The tax only applies to you if you purchase a motor vehicle, trailer, boat or outboard motor from out-of-state. Similar purchases made in-state will be subject to the local sales tax regardless of the vote on this ballot question.

What is the County’s sales tax rate? The rate for Audrain County is 1.5%.

Example: What is the sales taxes rate that I currently pay on a vehicle purchased in Mexico? Currently, any vehicle purchased by a Mexico resident is subject to a 8.6% sales tax (4.225% state tax, 2.0% city sales taxes, 2.375% other local sales taxes). If the out-of-state vehicle sales tax is discontinued, a resident would be subject to a 4.225% state sales tax on a vehicle purchased out-of-state, but would remain subject to an 8.6% sales tax on a vehicle purchased in-state. If you live in rural Audrain County, the total tax is 6.1%. The rate you would pay varies for other municipalities throughout the County.

Are other Counties like Audrain affected? Yes. A number of counties across the state will be voting on this issue at various times during 2016. Any county desiring to place this question on its ballot must do so by November 2016. Locally, Ralls and Randolph Counties have already voted on this issue and retained the tax.

Is there an impact on local dealerships? Yes. The existence of the tax creates a level playing field for Missouri dealerships. If the existing tax were to end, local dealerships would be at a competitive disadvantage with out-of-state dealerships which would no longer be required to collect the tax.

Where do the collections from the tax go? Collections of the county’s 1.5% sales tax goes into the General Fund. The General Fund supports Law Enforcement, Buildings and Grounds, Elections, Soil Conservation, Economic Development, the Handi Shop, Courts and many other programs.

What is the impact on Audrain County? The Missouri Department of Revenue estimates a 21% reduction in the vehicle sales tax collections; therefore, Audrain County’s annual loss is estimated to be $50,000 beginning in 2017. Approval of this measure will result in a reduction of local revenue to provide for vital services for Audrain County residents and it will place local dealers of motor vehicles, outboard motors, boats, and trailers at a competitive disadvantage to non-Missouri dealers.

What does a “No” or “Yes” vote mean? • A “No” vote means no change; the existing tax will continue; and no new taxes will be implemented.

• A “Yes” vote means that local sales taxes will only be collected on eligible in-state purchases. Local sales tax collections on eligible out-of-state purchases will end and the revenues the County is currently receiving will be lost.

What is the exact ballot language that I will see on Election Day? Shall Audrain County, Missouri discontinue applying and collecting the local sales tax on the titling of motor vehicles, trailers, boats, and outboard motors that were purchased from a source other than a licensed Missouri dealer?

Approval of this measure will result in a reduction of local revenue to provide for vital services for Audrain County and it will place Missouri dealers of motor vehicles, outboard motors, boats, and trailers at a competitive disadvantage to non-Missouri dealers of motor vehicles, outboard motors, boats, and trailers.


If you are in favor of the question, place an "X" in the box opposite "YES". If you are opposed to the question, place an "X" in the box opposite "NO".

Audrain County Small Structure Improvement Program

Link to PDF with Examples: Small Structure Images

It is a program being undertaken by Audrain County to replace or upgrade the short bridges and large culverts commonly found on the Audrain County roads that are either “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete”. These measures are intended to improve and enhance the safety of the county roads for the traveling public.

What do you mean by structurally deficient or functionally obsolete?

"Structurally Deficient" means the condition of the bridge includes a significant defect, which often means that speed or weight limits must be put on the bridge to ensure safety.

"Functionally Obsolete" means the design of the bridge is no longer suitable for its current use, such as inadequate width or safety features. This designation can also apply if the approaches are frequently inundated by flood waters.

Why couldn't these structures have been replaced with the special bridge tax that was allowed to expire in 2009?

The wording of the Special Bridge Tax provided for the upgrade and replacement of bridges with channel openings in excess of 20’ in length. (Nearly 170 bridges were replaced under that program from 1989 through 2015). This Small Structure Improvement Program includes culverts no smaller than 48” in diameter, and span type structures up to 20’ in length. Since, these type structures are less than 20’ long, they did not qualify for funding generated by the Special Bridge Tax.

How many small structures are there in the county and how many are in need of attention?

The inventory is currently 85% complete, and 593 small structures have been identified. Of those identified, nearly 20% are considered Structurally Deficient or Functionally Obsolete as of March, 2016.

What is required to mitigate the problem structures?

The County anticipates the following:

  • Approximately 40% will receive signs that either restrict the allowable loads or notify the traveling public of necessary speed reduction or narrow deck width.
  • Approximately 40% will receive repairs to improve the deficient condition, thereby extending the useful life expectancy of the existing structure.
  • Approximately 20% of the Structurally Deficient or Functionally Obsolete structures will be prioritized for replacement. Based on the severity of the deficient condition, these structures will either receive load limit signs that severely restrict the traffic or will be closed until resources are available for replacement.

What are the anticipated costs associated with each mitigation?

It depends on the type and extent of mitigation required, but the County anticipates the following:

  • Load Posting and Other Signage: Less Than $500 per Structure
  • Guardrail to Enhance the Safety: $2,000 - $10,000 per Structure
  • Large Rocks for Erosion Control: $1,000 - 10,000 per Structure
  • Headwalls for Roadway Stabilization: $5,000 - $20,000 per Structure
  • Inlet/Outlet Erosion Control Devices: $5,000 - $20,000 per Structure
  • Replacement with Metal Arch Pipe: $5,000 - $20,000 per Structure
  • Replacement with 30’-40’ Bridge: $100,000 - $150,000 per Structure

Where are these small structures?

They are located throughout the County. Maps of the current Small Structure Inventory can be viewed at the County Commissioner’s Office. Upon completion of the inventory, the small structures will be posted on the County’s website under the “GIS Mapping Tool”. The bridges that are longer than 20’ in length can currently be viewed in the “DOT Bridges” layer of the “GIS Mapping Tool”.

How often are the bridges inspected?

Bridges in excess of 20’ are inspected by the County and MoDOT every two years.

There has never been an all-inclusive inventory in Audrain County of structures under 20’ in length. It has basically been the County’s practice to address the deficiencies of the small structures when signs of distress are evident from the roadway. However, a vast majority of the deficiencies are not visible from the roadway until failure is imminent. The inventory under way at this time involves getting down in the creeks and looking at the condition of all the structures larger than 48” in diameter and less than 20’ in length. This inventory will allow the County to prioritize replacements and take measures to extend the useful life of the existing structures.

How does Proposition 2 affect the Small Structure Improvement Program?

It is estimated that the total cost to mitigate those structures currently in need of attention is approximately $3,000,000. The 2016 budget for Audrain County Common 1 Road District includes $170,000 for all culvert replacements. It is estimated that Proposition 2 will generate approximately $750,000 per year and will sunset in 2021.

Does the Small Structure Improvement Program include the Special Road Districts and the municipalities of Audrain County?

Yes. Audrain County has made it policy to assist the Special Road Districts and the municipalities of Audrain County when it comes to roadway structures. In 2015, Audrain County and the City of Mexico worked together to replace a small structure on Huntingfield Road. That structure was a span type structure with a 13’ channel opening. The replacement of that small structure was given a high priority due to the estimated daily traffic of 1,500 vehicles per day.