By Jenny Connelly-Bowen, CBN Graduate Research Assistant

This week, we’re looking at Sales and Use Taxes by zip code in St. Louis City and County. This data comes from the Missouri Department of Revenue‘s website on their Public Information Reports page, where users can download sales and use tax data by district, city, county, and zip code. Data by district is available from 1998 to the present for sales taxes and from 2005 to the present for use taxes, the first years those taxes went into effect at the district level. For all other geographies, data is available from 1990 through the present. At the zip code level, sales and use taxes are combined into one total, but users can examine sales and use taxes separately at the city, county, and district level.

Here are the Missouri Department of Revenue’s definitions of sales and use tax and their distribution in Missouri:

  • Sales tax: The state’s sales tax is imposed on the purchase price of tangible personal property or taxable service sold at retail.
  • Use tax: Use tax is imposed on the storage, use or consumption of tangible personal property in this state.
  • The 4.225 percent state sales and use tax is distributed into four funds to finance portions of state government:
    • General Revenue (3.0 percent)
    • Conservation (0.125 percent)
    • Education (1.0 percent)
    • Parks/Soils (0.10 percent)
  • Special taxing districts (such as fire districts) may also impose additional sales taxes. Generally, the department collects and distributes only state and local sales and use taxes.

The maps below were compiled using QGIS and 2015 sales and use tax combined by zip code in St. Louis City and County. The first two cover 1) total sales and use tax in 2015 and 2) the share that each zip code contributes to the total. Here, we can see that zip codes contributing the highest volume of sales and use taxes are concentrated in West St. Louis County:

The top three zip codes according to both of these measures (63011, 63005, and 63131) cover parts of Ballwin, Ellisville, Manchester, Wildwood, Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Des Peres, Frontenac, Country Life Acres, Crystal Lake Park, Huntleigh, Town and Country, and Westwood.

What does this tax distribution look like when we take resident population into account? Below is a map of this sales and use tax data by per capita measure: it ranks each zip code according to how much sales and use tax data it generates per resident, according to American Community Survey 2010-2014 5-Year Data Estimates. Here, the pattern looks slightly different. The zip codes that generate the most tax revenue per capita are located farther east:


The top three zip codes according to this measure (63101, 63102, and 63144) are located in St. Louis City (in parts of the Downtown and the Near North Riverfront neighborhoods) and Brentwood. For reference, the following map tracks population data by zip code per ACS 2010-2014 5-Year Data Estimates:


To access maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here.