A proposal for Gilbert to begin charging a 1.5 percent use tax on products brought into town but purchased in another jurisdiction (and Gilbert didn’t collect sales tax), including online sales, died on a 3-3 tie vote at the council’s Tuesday night meeting.
Town Manager George Pettit said his best guess was the town might have been able to collect an additional $500,000 in revenue, based on the proportion of use tax collected in Mesa and Peoria to the overall budgets of those cities.
The state already collects a use tax in lieu of its sales tax on such items, as do most other Valley cities.
The model tax code Gilbert would have had to adopt exempts the first $1,000 of purchases individuals make that might be subject to the tax, but there’s no exemptions for business purchases, which led representatives of the Gilbert Small Business Alliance to lobby against the use tax.
Council members Linda Abbott, Joan Krueger and Don Skousen were in favor of holding another public hearing after the use tax might possibly be adopted, while Mayor Steve Berman and Councilmen Dave Crozier and Steve Urie voted not to proceed.
With Councilman Les Presmyk absent, that left a tie vote, and the idea failed.