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Centralia City officials hitting the road to discuss Use Tax

Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 8:29 pm

Centralia’s elected officials and city administrator are hitting the roads and beating the bushes, figuratively at least, to educate people regarding the Use Tax.

Tara Strain, Centralia city administrator and Robert Hudson, Centralia ward 2 alderman, recently spoke to the Centralia Chamber of Commerce.

Strain, along with Chris Cox, Centralia mayor, spoke to the Centralia Kiwanis Club.

Their messages centered on three points.

Tara Strain Centralia City Administrator was one of the city officials speaking on the Use Tax.

• Consumers will not pay a Use Tax and local sales tax on the same purchase, it is not a “double tax.”

• A Centralia Use Tax would not affect Centralia’s store-front, brick and mortar businesses internet sales

• The Use Tax money Centralia loses to out-of-state internet sales would not be wasted. Centralia’s board of aldermen has already voted to spend the proceeds on items such as a new fire engine and sidewalk repair.

I thought Tara and Chris’ presentations were very good,” said local businessman and chamber board member Josh Hanley who heard Cox and Strain speak to Centralia’s Kiwanians. “They did not advocate, but instead worked to educate.”

Hanley said he understood the aldermen’s concern regarding revenue lost to out-of-town businesses.

“They, Chris and Tara, estimated the loss of revenues to around $140,000. Those dollars could be put to good use if they stayed here. The needs are crystal clear. If you walk down a city sidewalk you can see we’ve got some deferred maintenance that needs to be dealt with. That is what happens when internet sales erode a city’s income.”

For the full article see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.