As the world changes, we expect our government to keep abreast of new trends and practices. We also expect quality city services to continue to be available at our convenience.

By asking voters to approve a use tax April 3, the city of Liberty is taking a step toward adapting to the modern realities of commerce while ensuring and improving of city amenities like the animal shelter, senior activities and parks.

A local use tax is imposed on purchases made out of state for delivery and use in Liberty.

It would apply only to purchases for which a sales tax was not already charged. It is important to note that sales tax and the use tax would never be charged for the same transaction — the consumer would pay one or the other.

With the shift of shopping habits to online purchases mixed with Liberty keeping its property tax rate unchanged for the past decade, the city is in need of increased revenues to continue to provide basic city services and address needs in the Liberty parks system.

The council opted to asked voters for a use tax instead of looking at a property tax increase.

Without a use tax, the city of Liberty has been missing out on a revenue stream that could be benefiting residents across the city, as the city’s general fund and park services rely largely on property and sales taxes. The general fund pays for the operating expenses for the majority of city services, among them street maintenance, senior services and animal control.

By voting “yes” for the use tax, residents would be directly supporting these programs and certain plans for improvement.

A “yes” vote also would prevent the city from losing about $200,000 in annual revenue through out-of-state and private party motor vehicles sales tax.

The source of revenue from a use tax is clear, and city officials have made it equally clear how this revenue would be spent.

A Liberty use tax would fund a new animal shelter to replace an aging, inadequate facility. It also would fund improvements to the city’s 10 neighborhood parks, including significant upgrades at City Park such as an inclusive playground for children of all abilities, a new sprayground and new restrooms.

The fitness center and pool at the Liberty Community Center would be upgraded, and a family restroom would be added.

Beyond the new additions, the use tax would help maintain city services residents rely on every day in the form of drivable roads, services for seniors and cybersecurity within City Hall.

A city use tax may be a new proposal in Liberty, but the concept is already affecting residents at the state and county level. The state of Missouri and Clay County both have use taxes.

It’s time for Liberty voters to help the city also secure this revenue stream for the benefit of all through city services and amenities.

Support the Liberty use tax at the polls April 3.

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