In April 2018, the City of Independence put forward a ballot question to the registered voters seeking authority to assess a Use Tax. This initiative was pursued in response to declining sales tax revenues as a result of the continued rise in online shopping, which has surpassed sales in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. The measure, which was put forward at the request of the Independence Chamber of Commerce and Independence Council for Economic Development, was not tied to any specific City service our outcome, but rather was approached to boost sagging sales tax collections that have already been approved by the voters of Independence. The measure was ultimately defeated.
At the May 6th, 2019 Regular Meeting of the City Council, several citizens petitioned the City Council requesting that "Proposition P" be placed on the August 2019 ballot. The measure is similar to the April 2018 initiative in that the citizens group is requesting that this measure apply the Use Tax to online sales made by Independence residents from businesses with a physical nexus in the State of Missouri. However, the measure differs from the previous effort in that revenues generated from the use tax would be earmarked, with 50% of the revenues being allocated to operate the Regional Animal Shelter and 50% of the revenues being allocated to fund police personnel.