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Sales Tax Signs - Buyer Beware


Tax Sign

Suggested signs for those business that choose to tax their customers for the privilege of shopping in their special tax district.

We have all seen the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) signs displayed on commercial buildings. These signs are placed in prominent locations that warn firefighters of potential dangers and risks due to items stored in that building. The signs allow the firefighters to make informed decisions and places the firefighter in control of choosing the best method to fight a commercial fire. This is a valuable tool for our fire department.

The City of Lawrence has recently approved special taxing districts that allow a hidden sales tax to be collected from consumers. This tax is used to reimburse developers for costs incurred in developing a location. It may even extend to the retailer being reimbursed for actual operating costs. Regardless of the reason, the tax is undisclosed to consumers until a purchase has been made. Then, if the consumer happens to look at their receipt, and, if they know the government entities' tax rate, they may discover the hidden tax.

The citizens of Lawrence expressed a concern to the City Commissioners and asked that these retailers be required to post a notice of the sales tax. The Commissioners are now considering an ordinance that will require all businesses to post their tax rates. With that in mind, here is the Did I Say That's "NFPA" Sales Tax sign.

Placement of the new signs could be directly on a building so as to be seen as entering the building.


A smaller store could opt for the free-standing poster sign at the point of entry.


Signs should be highly visible and warn consumers of the full cost of potential purchases. This will allow the consumer to make an informed decision and places the consumer in control of choosing the best place to make their purchases.

UPDATE - June 24, 2010

A user, jackson5, recommended a special sign for The Oread. The Oread received a "double blessing" of special tax districting since it was also a TIF recipient. The percentages may be off, but here is the special sign for that special development known as The Oread.

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jackson5 7 years, 11 months ago

The Oread would need a variation of the sign. The Developer receives 3% of sales in this TIF/TDD district. 1% in extra sales tax from the TDD, plus the TIF allows them to keep 2% from the city and county's share of sales tax.

Oread sales tax distribution updated for new sales tax rate: State 6.3% Developer 3.0% City/Cty 0.55% Total 9.85

puddleglum 7 years, 11 months ago

THIS IS NEAT! i am very pretty, but this is a very good idea. I love it.

anonyname 7 years, 11 months ago

I like the concept, though the puke green doesn't do much for me. I'd have the developer portion red if there is a developer portion of the tax, and either white or grayed-out if not. That would help create an easy way to tell from afar if the developer's trying hide that they're paying for things through a "tax" that the vast majority of businesses have to pay for in other ways.

grimpeur 7 years, 11 months ago

Shout sales tax!

Oh wait, you just did...

Darling, you simply must have a black background. To make those colors just pop!

The floating color panels work with the brooding hulk of the Suburban Leningrad Dog Food Factory revival architecture of the Stadium-Vue Condos and Hotel. But with the free-standing posters, you need black, especially in front of the focus-grouped colorways and Post-food Semi-ambivalent design vernacular of a Taco Bell.

Emily Campbell 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm pretty sure state tax is 6.3%, but LOVE your idea!!

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