UPDATE 10 A.M. — The Missouri Department of Revenue issued a statement as to why the tax increase was denied.

The DOR reported that Ozark County currently has two half-percent sales taxes. One is was started on April 1, 1989, and the other on Oct. 1, 2013.

In 2017, the statute was changed to state that “Beginning August 28, 2017, no county shall submit to the voters any proposal that results in a combined rate of sales taxes adopted under this section in excess of one percent”. Ozark County attempted to impose a recent tax under this same section of law. Because they are already at the maximum amount under this section, the Department of Revenue was unable to administer that tax.

Missouri Department of Revenue

Original story:

OZARK COUNTY, Mo. — In Ozark County, a tax levy passed in 2022 will not go into effect. 

The Ozark County Commission announced this week that the sales tax increase would not happen after being told by the State Department of Revenue.

The county commission and sheriff’s office both said in statements that they were shocked to learn the outcome.

KOLR10 has reached out to the county commission, the sheriff’s office, and the state department of revenue and has not heard back as to why the tax cannot be imposed.

Ozark County residents say they were disappointed to hear their law enforcement would not get the help they said it needs.

“The small community that we have, the funding needs to be there for the sheriff’s department to be able to do their duties like they want to,” said Stacy Baker, a resident of the county. 

“I really didn’t know how to react to it. Like I say, I’ve never seen something like this happen,” said Ozark County Resident Kenton Webb. “Every time we voted for anything, whether it was a tax increase, levy increase, there’s never been a problem with it going through.”

Webb says the county needs more help dealing with drugs in the area. 

“We have all the problems: the theft, the distribution, the manufacture, the use that goes along with it,” Webb said. “So, we really need an active law enforcement office that is actually able to go out and answer calls.”

Baker and Webb both say they hope there’s a way the sheriff’s office can get the help people voted for during the most recent election.

“I just really wish they’d get it straightened out to where the sheriff’s department of Ozark County can get the funding that they need to be able to provide the services for the community,” Baker said.

“I do not know if there was some language wrong in the tax bill. I do not know if that’s something they can take care of in Jefferson City or if they will just have to rewrite it and vote for it again.” Webb added.

Webb added that he would vote for the tax again if it came up in the next election.