Downtown Columbia shoppers see little change from sales tax hike

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | 1:29 p.m. CDT; updated 5:56 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 3, 2012

COLUMBIA — Did you notice that you have paid more for your purchases in the downtown area since Sunday?

The new half-cent sales tax on all retail sales in downtown Columbia went into effect Sunday. But the change didn't seem to worry most people — at least, not the ones who were getting their daily cup of coffee Tuesday morning.

Josh Shocklee, a graduate student at MU, said he didn't notice that he paid an extra penny when he purchased his coffee at Starbucks on Ninth Street.

"It doesn't bother me that much," he said after learning of the tax hike.

Joe Griffin, a graduate student at MU, said he thought the price was the same. But Tuesday, he paid $5.23 for his venti frappuccino, which used to cost $5.21. 

Levi Sinak, a Starbucks staff member, said few people noticed the change in price because it's just one cent, or two at most. But the regulars knew: "A lot of regular customers asked because they know exactly how much they paid for their coffee every day," he said. 

The tax was approved in November, and it is expected to generate about $300,000 of revenue per year, according to a previous Missourian article

The revenue raised from the sales tax would have a variety of uses including, but not limited to:

  • Downtown beautification
  • Technology and public information enhancements
  • Business marketing and development assistance
  • Event recruitment and promotion
  • Shopping, dining or entertaining enhancements

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