ARKOE, Mo. — Members of the Arkoe Board of Trustees considered ways to put themselves on the map Friday — literally.
Susan Cronk, who lives in the small village of Arkoe a few miles south of Maryville, brought to the board’s attention a quirk of addresses that in some cases can result in residents being charged the city of Maryville’s recently passed use tax when ordering online, if the order can go through at all.
Arkoe is an incorporated village, last listed with a population of 68, and as such does not use county addresses for its residents. However, since Arkoe does not have a post office or postal designation of its own, postal addresses in Arkoe still end with “Maryville, MO 64468.”
Usually, this doesn’t cause any issues. If someone who lives on Arkoe’s Hope Street tries to order from Amazon or Walmart, for example, the item can be shipped to the address without issue and without being charged Maryville’s online sales tax.
But problems arise when trying to order to any of the three roads in Arkoe that share names with ones in Maryville: First, Second and Third streets. In Maryville, those streets run east and west. In Arkoe, they run north and south.
Simple testing by The Forum confirmed the issue that Cronk raised: when ordering to one of those addresses on Walmart.com, the site returns an error saying that the address cannot be verified. But Walmart allows a customer to continue anyway, and in that case, it erroneously applies the 2.375 percent use tax. It does not apply that sales tax to other addresses located within Arkoe.
Amazon, similarly, does not recognize the addresses on streets that share a name with Maryville, but does not allow customers to continue with an unverifiable address.
Online retailers use the U.S. Postal Service to verify that addresses exist, and use state databases to overlay sales tax information.
During a test performed by The Forum this week, other Arkoe addresses are recognized by the U.S. Postal Service’s online ZIP locator, but ones on First, Second and Third Streets are not.
A spokeswoman for the Postal Service told The Forum on Wednesday, that the agency is looking into the cause of the issue.
At last week’s meeting, the board agreed to look into what options may be available for the village to clear up the discrepancy with the Postal Service, and to consider changing the street names as a simpler, more local solution.
Other Arkoe notes
- The board unanimously approved a motion to purchase a computer for use by the city clerk, Megan Partridge. Up to this point, all city records have been kept by hand.
- Mayor Darrell Cronk recapped a meeting with United Fiber, confirming that Arkoe will be included in the company’s fiber expansion that will include access to gigabit internet.
- Mayor Cronk said that an EPA representative, during a routine inspection, suggested a few vehicles needed to be removed from a property to ensure oil and other materials weren’t contaminating nearby water sources. Mayor Cronk emphasized that properties in the village needed to be up to code or the board would enforce action through the courts.
- The board will look into new “kids at play” signage for Pearl Street, and plans to repaint and add reflective tape to existing signs.
- The board also approved a plan to place a public notice board on First Street.
- A village-wide garage sale is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28.
- Susan Cronk started a new blog for Arkoe that includes public notices and other current happenings, along with history of the village.
- The next meeting of the Arkoe Board of Trustees is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 in the Church of Jesus Christ, Arkoe Restoration Branch. The board plans to hold regular meetings every second Friday.