Missouri Sales Tax Debate Aiming To Turn Ugly
- Feb 11, 2012 | Susan McLain
Missouri is heating up and it’s all about sales taxes.
Recently, Let Voters Decide spokeswoman, Anne Marie Moy “…portrayed a gloomy future without the tonic of the initiative proposal backed by businessman Rex Sinquefield to repeal income taxes and replace the revenue with an expanded sales tax.” On the flip side, Jim Moody, a Coalition for Missouri’s Future representative, feels that “[t]ying yourself to the sales tax here is kind of like putting an anchor around your neck and throwing it out the window…It’s not an expanding source.”
In addition to the discussion about sales tax versus income tax, the Missouri State House Committee on Tax Reform considered the most recent “Missouri Main Street Fairness” bill(s) that would bring Missouri into compliance with the Streamlined Sales Tax Project* (SSTP) (HB 1356 and HB 1215). However, sponsors Margo McNeil (D-florissant) and Doug Funderburk (R- St. Peters) of the House, “…differ over whether to make the change revenue-neutral to the state. Funderburk says it should be….McNeil says to not bring in additional state revenue would be to miss an opportunity.”
To make things revenue-neutral, Funderburk has parlayed ideas like taking the collected revenue and “…applying it to a lowering of the overall sales tax of the next year.” McNeil contends that “[l]ocal cities and counties have a big hole in their revenue bucket, but also the state of Missouri has a large hole in our revenue bucket that is only going to get wider as more people decide to use the internet.”
Whereas the income versus sales tax initiative is still in debate stage, “Funderburk, who chairs the Tax Reform Committee, hopes to have [HB 1356 or HB 1215] legislation ready for a vote in the next two weeks.”