Derby possibly ‘cheated’ out of special sales tax on vehicles

Derby City Council members decided Tuesday to pursue litigation against the Kansas Department of Revenue in regards to how the city’s special half-cent sales tax is split out on vehicles purchased outside of Derby.
Derby resident Jane Polk noticed the discrepancy when she purchased a vehicle in Wichita last year. As an accountant, Polk said she was interested in seeing how much that half-cent Derby sales tax actually amounted to.
“So when I bought my tags, I just looked to see that it was the half-percent and I couldn’t figure out why all the half-percent didn’t show Derby,” she said. “I thought, ‘Well that’s kind of strange.’”
Instead of showing a half-percent going toward the City of Derby, it showed two-thirds of that half-percent going to Sedgwick County and the remaining third going to Derby.
So, on a vehicle purchased in Wichita for $10,000, Sedgwick County gets its 1 percent cut of $100 at the point of sale.
When the car is registered to a Derby address, an additional $50 is taken as the Derby half-cent sales tax approved by voters. But instead of that all going toward the city of Derby, $33 is sent to the county, allocated as “County Sales Tax,” while the remaining $17 is sent to Derby.
“My initial reaction was that Derby was getting cheated out of part of it,” Polk said. “I guess I wanted to know why.”

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