Mitchellville Gun Shop Concerned About Impact of Local Option Sales Tax Increase on Business

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MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa -- "I believe it will impact," said Joe McCreery of RR Gun Sales.

Just how much tax customers had to pay to buy at the gun store in Mitchellville was already an issue on people's mind, before Tuesday's vote on the local option sales tax.

"Even before it was passed, we`d have customers calling on the phone to check sales tax rates compared to the other counties that were higher than Polk County," said McCreery. "An average, it (the current sales tax rate of 6%) will raise a customer's bill probably five to ten dollars. On the same purchase, they can go just to Altoona and save five or ten dollars."

And now that amount will go up, with the recently approved one percent sales tax increase (bringing the sales tax rate in Mitchellville to 7%).

"It ends up being, you know, another 35, 45 dollars on top of the sticker price," said McCreery

On big ticket items like shotguns and rifles is where the imapct will be felt the most.

"We`ll sell several things a year that`s 1500 to 2000 dollars for one item," said McCreery.

And, then there's the internet.

"People can order a firearm off the internet and have it ship to an FFL (Federal Firearms License), pay no tax, and so we`re instantly seven percent higher than competition off the internet," said McCreery.

At Team 36 Bar and Grill, patrons might not feel as much pain in their wallets from the increase, but there are still concerns that the tax hike could hurt business.

"Well, I think it's a huge concern in general and if people can go elsewhere and pay less, I think that sometimes they definitely think about that," said Tina Hellyer, a waitress.

But city leaders are happy.

"I`m happy that Mitchelville approved it," said Tammi Dillavou, City Administrator. "I`m happy because our voters responded overwhelmingly by about 70 percent approval, you know, they understood the need for it. They understood what this will mean to us and getting our water and our infrastructure up to date."

Half of the revenue generated from the tax will go to providing property tax relief. The other half will go for road, sewer, and water projects.