The Minnesota Department of Revenue administers and collects sales taxes, but Cook County has a special interest in the process. In November voters approved a 1 percent additional tax to support several local projects, and county commissioners want to be sure they get every nickel.
Commissioners signed an agreement with the state at Tuesday’s meeting, but the revenue department only keeps track of purchases made in the county. The agreement reads, “there is no cost effective way (for the DOR) to identify specific vendors located outside the county taxing jurisdiction.” As a result, that task will fall to Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers.
If, for example individuals purchase items in Duluth and bring them into the county, the only tax they pay is the one in Duluth. If those items are shipped into Cook County, they would be taxed in Cook County. Out-of-area businesses are bound by the tax code to pay local sales taxes and there is a penalty if they don’t, but the commissioners want to make sure it’s paid.
Powers will put together a system of vendor contacts reminding them of the 1 percent additional tax. Commissioners said the 1 percent Local Option Sales Tax projects are too important to miss out on any potential revenue. Collection of the tax will begin in April.