County changes tax on farm equipment
Steamboat Springs — Routt County will no longer collect a 1-percent sales tax on farm equipment, parts and certain agricultural supplies.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to change the county’s practice of collecting the sales tax, which will cost the county about $10,000 annually.
The tax exemption will take effect Jan. 1.
The change is in line with state legislation formed in 1999 that prohibits state sales tax to be charged on farm equipment and supplies.
“This resolution follows the county’s commitment to preserve the county’s agricultural community and economics,” Commissioner Doug Monger said.
County officials received letters supporting the change from the Routt County Cattlemen’s Association, Agricultural Alliance, Routt County Cattlewomen’s Association and the local Farm Bureau.
“Agriculture is a funny business,” said Dan Craig, president of the Routt County Farm Bureau. “We are the only business that buys equipment and supplies at retail prices but sells product at wholesale. We have very few farm producers and suppliers left in this county.
“The sales tax exemption may not amount to much, but if we can save a dollar or two, it helps.”
For the past two years, this issue has been in front of the commissioners, said C.J. Mucklow, extension office director.
“Whatever we can do to make agricultural viable helps,” Mucklow said.
Mucklow said Routt County is one of a few counties in the state that collects sales tax on farm equipment.
Only agricultural producers can take advantage of the measure. Agricultural producers can get a tax-exempt certificate and present it to vendors at the time of purchase.
Vendors will be responsible for keeping the certificates on file.
Because of the county’s move, county officials are hopeful farmers will stay in Routt County to buy equipment and supplies.
“If a person is buying an $80,000 tractor, the sales tax would be $800,” Mucklow said. “That might not sound like much, but $800 is $800.”
“The sales tax can make a lot of difference between a farmer buying the equipment here or buying it someplace else,” Monger said. “I think this will help our vendors.”
“This puts our local vendors at an equal playing field with the rest of the state,” Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said. “It makes sense to do this.”
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