City: Some businesses mistakenly charge local option tax

SANDPOINT — The local option tax may have failed to pass last November, but that’s reportedly not stopping some local businesses.

According to local officials, the city has received reports that some businesses may be adding on a local option tax to their regular business charges. However, that’s one surcharge that they don’t need to be enforcing.

Local consumers are advised to keep an eye on their sales receipts after shopping to make sure they don’t feature any surcharges beyond the standard Idaho sales tax. If you should notice the tax being implemented, discuss the issue with the owner or manager.

Businesses that may be adding the local option tax to purchases, on the other hand, have a more complicated path in remedying the situation.

According to Sandpoint City Attorney Scot Campbell, there aren’t many services the city can provide in ensuring business owners mistakenly charging the tax remain in the clear legally.  Campbell recommends that affected business owners contact their personal attorney and state authorities at the Idaho State Tax Commission to remedy the situation.

Originally proposed last fall, the local option tax was a suggested surcharge of 0.5 percent onto all local goods and services. The proposal was designed to increase city revenue that could then be directed toward improving the Sandpoint Memorial Field. While a majority of voters were in favor of the measure on Nov. 6, the proposal didn’t garner enough support to achieve the 60-percent supermajority necessary to pass it.

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