When shopping online or buying goods to be delivered to your home or business in Westwood, most retailers will ask for you to enter a zip code to determine the amount of sales tax that you have to pay. However, because we have so many small cities in northeast Johnson County, this can lead to the wrong sales tax rate being charged and paid.
All of Westwood is in the 66205 zip code, but 66205 also includes all of the cities of Westwood Hills, Mission Woods, Fairway, Roeland Park, and parts of the City of Mission and Mission Hills.
Each of these cities have set their own city sales tax rate, which means there are five different city sales tax rates within 66205. These city sales tax rates are combined with the state of Kansas’ rate of 6.5% and Johnson County’s rate of 1.475% to arrive at the total sales tax rate that you end up paying.
Why should you take the time to care about this topic? There are two good reasons.
First, Westwood’s 1% city sales tax rate is one of the lowest city rates in Johnson County. Most of the time online retailers default to “Mission” when you enter a zip code of 66205, and Mission’s rate is 1.625%, as you can see in the chart above. That may not seem like much
The second reason to look at which city’s rate is being applied is that when retailers remit the sales taxes that they have collected to the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR), they list the cities that they have collected taxes for and then the KDOR sends the appropriate amounts to those cities. This means that if you paid Mission sales tax on a purchase, not only did you pay more than necessary, but the money ends up going to Mission, not Westwood.
While we like our friends in Mission, I think we would all agree that we want to be charged the correct rate and have our money go to the correct city, where it is used to fix streets, pay police salaries, and support other public services.
You can look up sales tax rates by address from the Kansas Department of Revenue on-line tool HERE
Johnson County's Automated Information Mapping Systems (AIMS) maps-out all of the different sales tax rates in the county HERE. Under the Advanced Layers option on the left, check the Sales Tax Rates box under the Tax Layers option.
So the next time you buy something online, take a second to make sure that you are specifying that your purchase is being shipped to Westwood so that you aren’t paying more than you have to, and keep your money in your community.