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March 28, 2018  

I am guilty.  Guilty of being a hypocrite.  No less than 5 times over the past year I have urged you to "shop local" in this very article.  I have asked you to bypass that Google shopping ad or that great item Amazon "suggested" that you buy.  Meanwhile, I have made more than 80 purchases from Amazon for myself and my business.
Don't get me wrong, I shop a lot in Nixa.  I have been accused more than once of never making it past James River Freeway, so most of my purchases go to local - especially Nixa - businesses.  But I am a middle aged man who HATES to shop - and it is just SO easy to grab your phone, go online and make that quick purchase.  It is so convenient and often even more affordable than buying that same item in a local brick and mortar store. And yet, when I buy from Amazon currently, I am not charged the same 1.5% sales tax which I would pay had I purchased the same item from a store located in Nixa. However, saving that 1.5% on sales tax is not the reason why I purchase from Amazon, and in fact, I take pride in knowing that when I purchase from a Nixa business, 1.5% of my purchase is going to pay for Nixa Police, streets, and sidewalks. When I buy something from Amazon, the delivery truck drives on Nixa streets, and if a package were to be stolen from my porch, Nixa Police would investigate, however, my Amazon purchase contributes no local sales tax to pay for those services.
I love my community and in a perfect world I could, and would, buy everything locally.  But you and I both know that is never going to happen - for me or most Nixa residents - no matter our collective level of guilt.  So I hope you will take a minute and review the info on the proposed Use Tax, which, if passed, would extend the 1.5% local sales tax rate to purchases from Amazon and other out-of-state vendors.
  • The USE TAX means that Nixa would begin to collect it's 1.5% portion of the local sales tax from some online retailers which currently collect no local sales tax.
  • You will never pay both a sales tax and the use tax. It is one or the other, depending on the type of purchase.
  • If the USE TAX is NOT passed, Nixa businesses will continue to collect sales tax while online stores won't.
Please make an informed decision and vote April 3rd.

Mayor Steele

Remember to vote April 3rd

What is a use tax?
What is a use tax? Click above to watch the short video.

On April 3rd, 2018, Nixa voters will decide the following ballot issue regarding a USE TAX . This is the language you will see on the ballot:
Shall the City of Nixa, Missouri be authorized to impose a local use tax at the same rate as the total local sales tax rate provided that if the local sales tax rate is reduced or raised by voter approval, the local use tax rate shall also be reduced or raised by the same action? Yes or No
What is a use tax?
The local use tax is applied, in lieu of the local sales tax, on transactions conducted with out-of-state vendors, including catalog and direct market sales. Whereas you currently pay a 1.5% local sales tax to the City of Nixa when you buy at Nixa businesses, you currently pay 0% local sales tax to the City of Nixa when you buy the same item from Amazon or other out-of-state vendors. Passage of a use tax would apply the same 1.5% local sales tax to Amazon and other out-of-state vendors as is already applied to local businesses.
What types of items does the use tax apply to?
A use tax is applied to the same types of items as the sales tax. The use tax does not expand the list of transactions which incur a sales tax. The use tax applies to transactions which incur no sales tax, if the goods are purchased out-of-state and will be shipped to Missouri.
Purchasers will not pay both a sales tax and a use tax.
A purchaser will pay one or the other, depending on the type of purchase. The use tax rate would always be the same as the sales tax rate (currently 1.5%). The use tax would go up or down with the sales tax rate.
The State of Missouri estimates Nixa would collect an additional $95,000/year if the use tax is approved by voters.  $95,000 is equivalent to:
  • Personnel expenses for 2 Police Officers
  • Or new sidewalks for 7 city blocks
  • Or asphalt street overlay for 1.08 miles of city roads
The use tax will not increase the sales tax.
If passed, the use tax means the city would begin to collect its 1.5% portion of the use tax (in lieu of the local sales tax) from some online retailers and other places where it is not currently enforced.
If the use tax is not passed, online stores located out-of-state won't collect any local tax.
However, passage of the use tax does not mean all out-of-state vendors would begin to collect the use tax in lieu of sales tax. Enforcement is determined by the federal and state governments.
Other cities have approved the use tax.
Springfield, Fremont Hills, Aurora, Willard, Mt. Vernon and over 100 other Missouri cities have already passed a use tax requiring out-of-state vendors, such as catalog sales and online stores, to collect a use tax at the same tax rate as their local sales tax.
What is the current Nixa sales tax?
When anyone buys something from a Nixa business, they pay 7.475% total sales tax on their purchase.  This sales tax is divided as follows:
4.225% to the State of Missouri.
1.5% to Christian County.
.25% to County 911.
1.5% to the City of Nixa.
The city's portion is split so .5% goes to the Street fund, and 1.0% goes to the General fund, of which, the Police Department is the largest expense.

In 2017, Nixa's sales tax revenue grew 2.08%. That growth has slowed down each of the last 4 years. At the same time, operation costs including Police and Street departments grew by 4.68% from 2016 to 2017. Operating the Police Department currently costs more than the entire sales tax collected for the city.
The City of Nixa has not increased its portion of the sales tax since 1987. This issue would not increase the sales tax.
Nixa's Population Growth
Nixa's population continues to grow.  This growth has resulted in higher costs necessary to provide services such as Police, streets, and sidewalks. & Online Sales volunteered in February 2017 to begin collecting Missouri use tax on purchases by Missouri residents. This means Nixa residents pay 4.225% to the state on purchases from Amazon. (The state has had a use tax since 1959.) The state does not provide these funds to the City of Nixa. Nixa may only collect 1.5% (equivalent to the current sales tax approved by voters) from orders shipped to Nixa addresses if Nixa voters pass the use tax.
If you buy less than $2000 worth of items from out-of-state vendors which do not have a nexus or 'direct connection' (such a store location, distribution center, back office, or sales representative) in Missouri, you will not have to pay use tax on those transactions. Missouri law already requires that you file a use tax return if you buy more than $2000 worth of items from out-of-state vendors. Only if an out-of-state business has a nexus in Missouri and they are going to ship the item to Missouri, and you did not pay sales tax on the purchase, would you then be charged the use tax by the vendor.
If you never buy anything from out-of-state vendors which have to be shipped to Missouri, you will never pay any use tax.
How would a use tax affect my business?
If you sell things through Amazon or other online stores, the use tax does NOT mean you would have to begin collecting use tax on those sales. You would still collect sales tax on the same types of transactions on which you currently collect sales tax. The use tax is only applied to purchases from out-of-state vendors if the item will be shipped to Missouri.

Businesses will not owe use tax on items which will be resold as a part of their normal business operations. Any sales tax exemption you have would still apply.

QUESTIONS? Nixa Public Information Officer, Drew Douglas: [email protected] 417-725-3785

Doug Colvin, Interim City Administrator
PO BOX 395
NIXA, MO 65714

Uncontested City Council races, new polling place

There are two city council seats up for election on April 3rd.
The two seats up for election are: One seat in District I and one seat in District II.

Only one candidate filed to run for the District I seat,  Scott Perryman.

Only one candidate filed to run for the District II seat, Matt Barker, who currently serves in that position after being appointed to the seat in 2017.

To see which district you live in, see our  Nixa voting district map.

The City of Nixa has 6 council representatives, two for each of the three districts. Council representatives serve alternating 3-year terms. This means each April, two council representatives are elected. The Mayor also serves 3-year terms. The Mayor was reelected in 2017, meaning the next mayoral election will be in April 2020.

Also, those who previously voted at the polling place located inside Espy Elementary are advised that their polling location has been changed to Nixa City Hall. To learn which polling place you should go to on election day, visit the Christian County Clerk's website.

The Baffler
This perplexing puzzle will keep you bewildered, befuddled, and bemused.

Q: A boy was at a carnival and went to a booth where a man said to the boy, "If I write your exact weight on this piece of paper then you have to give me $50, but if I cannot, I will pay you $50." The boy looked around and saw no scale so he agrees, thinking no matter what the carny writes he'll just say he weighs more or less. In the end the boy ended up paying the man $50. How did the man win the bet?

The answer to The Baffler is at the bottom of the newsletter.
City Administrator Search Update

Strategic Government Resources (SGR), the executive search firm hired by council to assist with the recruitment of our next city administrator, collected 47 applications from around the nation. The interview and vetting process has begun. The field has been narrowed to 9 of the most qualified candidates, and the search committee (Mayor and 3 Councilpersons) will meet soon to select semi-finalists for initial interviews and select 4 to 6 finalists for the full council to interview.  The job description may be viewed here.
City Events
Seniors, come join us for The Update at the Nixa Senior Center

The Update is a great way to learn more about what's happening in Nixa and have your questions answered while enjoying lunch. Each month, we bring a different guest speaker. These events give those who may not have access to the city's electronic communications an opportunity to meet and interact with the city's leadership, voice their concerns, and stay informed!

For 2018, The Update is held on the last Wednesday of each month.


March 28
April 25
May 30

Anyone can enjoy lunch at the Nixa Senior Center with a suggested donation of $6. Learn more at the  Nixa Senior Center website.
The Xchange

The Nixa Parks Department has partnered with corporate consultant, speaker, and author Lauren Schieffer to provide three learning opportunities for professional growth in 2018. We are calling this series The Xchange.

Cost: $50 per person, per class. Register early to reserve your spot!
To register, call 417-725-5486 or register in person at The X Center (701 N. Taylor Way).

Class 1: Are you getting this? April 26, 2018. 9am - 11am.
The greatest hindrance to growth in any organization or in any individual career is poor communication - both up and down the ladder. Keeping staff motivated and achieving at full potential requires keeping effective and respectful lines of communication open at all times. This engaging, entertaining presentation details the most important avenues to sustaining staff peak performance and gaining customer loyalty in the 21st century.

Class 2: Before it comes to blows. September 13, 2018. 9am - 11am.
The most dynamic and successful organizations (and people!) learn how to resolve conflict before it starts - and create an atmosphere that fosters understanding and expression. These skills do not typically come naturally, but they can be learned. This engaging session will show you how to prevent, manage, and resolve conflict before it comes to blows!

Class 3: Leading out of drama. November 8, 2018. 9am - 11am.
Drama diverts time, energy and money away from team goals, strategic priorities, and critical activities. Easy to sense, harder to diagnose and prevent, drama is what happens when people struggle against themselves and each other, with or without awareness, to feel justified about their unhealthy behavior. Scientific research tells us that drama is predictable, observable, and reversible. The Leading out of Drama program harnesses the power of drama to create. This class teaches self-awareness about how people and teams participate in and contribute to drama. It offers options for making healthier choices and delivers strategies for inviting others out of drama and into compassionate interactions. This class helps leaders transform the interpersonal and group dynamics that sabotage morale, engagement, and productivity. Team members become more committed, creative, and focused on making meaningful contributions.

Easter Egg Hunt

The Easter Bunny is coming to town! On Saturday, March 31st join us and our event sponsor, Mac Dental, for the annual Easter Egg Hunt. The Easter Bunny will be hopping around for pictures too!

The event begins at 10:00 am, with activities running until Noon. Make sure you arrive early for your age division's hunt time! The Easter Egg Hunt is free and open to all.

Hunt times: 6 months - 2 years at 10:05 am, 3 - 5 years at 10:15 am, 6 - 8 years at 10:25 am, 9 - 12 years at 10:35 am.

Health & Wellness Expo

Come join us for a day of nutrition, fitness education, and health awareness. The Health and Wellness Expo will be an opportunity for the community to engage in various health and wellness activities, seminars, demonstrations, and visit with vendors to learn about the numerous resources available to them within their community. Join us Saturday, April 7th from 9:00 am to noon. Entrance is FREE to the public! Booth spaces are available for vendors.

Baseball / Softball / T-Ball

Registration for Baseball / Softball / T-Ball ends on April 4th. The six game season begins the week of May 8th. The program is open to boys and girls ages 3 years old to currently in 6th grade (Must be 3 years old by May 8th).

The fees for the program are as follows: Members $40, Residents $45, Non-Residents $53. *Late registration from April 5th - 8th, with a $10 additional late fee.

Game Days for Baseball / Softball / T-Ball

Pre-K T-Ball plays Thursday evenings.
Age 5-Kindergarten T-Ball plays Saturday mornings.
1st-2nd grade (boys) play Monday evenings.
1st-2nd grade (girls) play Tuesday evenings.
3rd-4th grade (boys and girls) play Tuesday evenings.
5th-6th grade boys play Monday evenings.
5th-6th grade girls play Thursday evenings.

More Nixa Parks Info

For the latest info on all the events happening at Nixa Parks and The X Center, follow this  link to the Nixa Parks Newsletter and

Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The Nixa Police Department is hosting a DEA sponsored Medicine Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28th from 10am to 2pm at Family Pharmacy located at 105 Ridgecrest Ave, in Nixa.  Citizens can bring expired, unused, or unwanted medicine in pill or liquid form.  No needles, infectious waste, or aerosol cans will be accepted.
For any questions about this event contact Officer Forgey at 725-2510.

Working For You
Nixa Utilities unveil new branding

Nixa Utilities have unveiled a new logo and slogan, "Count On Us". The branding effort is intended to raise the visibility of the water, sewer, and electric utilities which are publicly owned by the residents of Nixa, and operated by the City of Nixa.
Many times, we have heard people confused about what to call Nixa Utilities. "City Utilities" - that's not us, that's the public utility in Springfield. "Public Works" includes the street department, city maintenance department, and other functions which are paid for by tax dollars rather than monthly bills.
Many Nixa residents may not realize that their tax dollars do not support the electric, water, and wastewater utilities. Those city departments operate as enterprise funds, meaning they only spend what they earn in fees and usage billing. Remember, as a publicly-owned utility, we have no profit motive.
By branding these city departments as Nixa Utilities, we hope residents will more easily recognize and remember their utility provider within the Nixa city limits. You will still pay your bill to the City of Nixa, but now you'll see the Nixa Utilities name and logo on your bill.
Count on us for clean, reliable, environmentally responsible, and safe services. Count on us for quality customer service. Count on us for affordable rates. That's our promise to every Nixa resident.


Doug Colvin
Director of Nixa Utilities and Public Works

Economic Development News

The Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the hiring of Chris Russell as the new executive director of the organization. A former member of the Nixa City Council, Russell had vacated his seat after accepting a position in Chicago with Keller Williams Realty, but now says the opportunity to promote economic growth in his hometown is the perfect way to come back to the community. Jason Massengale, chairman of the chamber board of directors, says Russell was chosen for his longstanding commitment to the area. Russell officially assumed the role on March 26. The City of Nixa and Nixa Utilities entered into an agreement with the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce to provide more annual funding to the organization, so that the newly hired executive director may also serve as the city's economic developer. Included in those additional responsibilities, Mr. Russell will make monthly reports to city council summarizing economic development efforts. At the March 26th council meeting, Mr. Russell presented a summary plan for his first 90 days in the position. Mayor Brian Steele says, "We are excited to see Mr. Russell partner with Andrea Sitzes, executive director of the newly formed Show Me Christian County, to enhance business retention and attraction efforts in the Nixa area. This is a coordinated effort with the City to make economic development a top priority and we are excited to see Mr. Russell's leadership in these efforts."
Mattress Recycling

The City of Nixa is a member of a solid waste district, which means Nixa residents are able to participate in mattress recycling, a service which is partially funded by grants. You can recycle your boxsprings and mattresses by dropping them off at the BedHead processing facility at 304 Southwest Main Street in Billings, MO. Their hours are Monday - Friday, 7am to 5pm in winter and 7am to 6pm in summer. There is no need to call ahead. You may leave items and payment under the covered drop-off area.

Cost: $10 per item for drop off.

BedHead will come to your location to pick up your mattresses and box springs for a charge of $25, plus $10 per item. Pick up services are available on Tuesdays. Please call the number below by noon on Monday to schedule a Tuesday pick-up.

More information at: or call 417-824-8799 or toll free 1-888-223-8004.

Open and Transparent Governance

Did you know that the agendas and minutes for council meetings are posted on our website? The agenda shows everything council plans to discuss at the upcoming meeting, and the minutes show what happened at previous meetings.

The public may also review information such as crime stats, construction permits, and other department activities. Just check out the supplemental reports in the city council meeting agendas issued prior to each council meeting. The monthly department reports appear at the bottom of the agenda for the second council meeting of each month.

Now Hiring!

The City of Nixa has job openings for various city departments!

Visit  the  JOBS section of our website or you can call our Human Resources department at 417-725-3785.

You can learn more about what it's like to work for the City of Nixa when you check out our page on LinkedIn.

Exceptional City Staff
Police Promotions

Congratulations to Joe Campbell (right) and Jeremy Whitehill (below). At the March 26 city council meeting, their lovely wives pinned their badges as they were recognized for promotion. Joe Campbell, who has served the department since 2002, was promoted from Lieutenant to Major, and Jeremy Whitehill, who has served the department since 2009, was promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant. Congratulations and thank you for your continued service to the Nixa community!

Buy a Nixa travel mug!
Get one of these Nixa travel tumblers for $15

Anyone can come by Nixa City Hall during business hours to purchase one of these stainless steel travel mugs for $15. They have a copper lining just like a Yeti mug to keep hot stuff hot longer, and cold stuff cold for longer. While you're here, you can also pick up a free refrigerator magnet with the important city contact numbers on it!
Sign up for text alerts and e-notifications

Did you know you can sign up for more timely alerts than just this monthly newsletter? Visit  to select which types of city information you'd like to get e-mail notifications about. There are 10 categories, from parks or city hall calendar updates, to items open for bid, job postings, and emergency information.

Also, you can sign up to get text alerts by downloading the Swift 911 app on your phone! Select which categories of alerts you'd like to receive immediately on your phone. In emergencies, this allows the county get potentially life-saving information direct to your phone. You can also let law enforcement and first responders know ahead of time if you have special health concerns by completing the personal contact information in the app. This helps Christian County dispatch put your health information into the data first responders see when they come to your home to help during an emergency.

Severe Weather Preparedness

April and May are peak tornado season here in the midwest, so be sure you have a plan for when the weather turns dangerous.

There are 4 FEMA-rated tornado shelters in Nixa. The Tornado Safe Rooms are owned by the Nixa School District and their first function is to provide protection for the students and staff during tornado and extreme high wind events during school hours. The shelters are located at Inman Intermediate, Mathews Elementary, Nixa Junior High, and Nixa High School and are marked with yellow "Tornado Shelter" signs.
Your official notification that the safe room is open will be through your NOAA weather radio.  When a tornado watch is issued, the public can begin to enter the safe room.  When a tornado warning is issued, the safe room will be fully open and operational for everyone.  Again, we will be using the NOAA weather radios as our official notification system. 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Zac Rantz, Nixa Public Schools chief communication officer and district safety coordinator, at 417-449-3295 or [email protected].

More info on the Nixa Public Schools website.
Follow us on social media!
Remember to "Like" and "Follow" the City's Facebook page . We are working hard to give you lots of updates on Facebook, as well as on Twitter and Nextdoor.

If you have any questions about what's happening at the city, please reach out to us either by email, phone,  Facebook, Twitter, or Nextdoor.


Drew Douglas
Public Information Officer
[email protected]

City Contact Numbers:

City Hall: 725-3785
Police: 725-2510
911 Non-emergency and Animal Control: 582-1030
Utilities and report an outage: 725-3229
Public Works: 725-2353
Parks: 725-5486
The Baffler - Answer
The solution to your scalp scratchin'...

Q: A boy was at a carnival and went to a booth where a man said to the boy, "If I write your exact weight on this piece of paper then you have to give me $50, but if I cannot, I will pay you $50." The boy looked around and saw no scale so he agrees, thinking no matter what the carny writes he'll just say he weighs more or less. In the end the boy ended up paying the man $50. How did the man win the bet?
A: The man did exactly as he said he would and wrote "your exact weight" on the paper.

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City of Nixa |  [email protected]  |
PO Box 395   715 W. Mt Vernon   Nixa, MO 65714