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When Missouri Municipalities Are in Business


 Rentals of lake cabins subject to Missouri sales tax.

Missouri sales tax does not apply to charges for admissions to places of amusement, entertainment, or recreation when the places are owned or operated by a municipality or other political subdivision, so long as all the proceeds benefit the owner. In other words, if Town X charges admissions for a museum that it owns, the charge is exempt from sales tax.

However, a sales tax exemption does not inherently apply to all charges imposed by municipality-owned enterprises.

According to a letter ruling (LR 7676) recently published by the Missouri Department of Revenue, the gross receipts received by a municipality for the short-term rentals of its lakefront cabins to the general public are subject to sales tax. It references RSMo, Sections 144.020.1 and 144.020.1(6):

  • “A tax is hereby levied and imposed upon all sellers for the privilege of engaging in the business of selling tangible personal property or rendering taxable service at retail in this state.”
  • Tax is imposed on “the amount of sales or charges for all rooms, meals and drinks furnished at any hotel, motel, tavern, restaurant, eating house, drugstore, dining car, tourist cabin, tourist camp or other place in which meals or drinks are regularly served to the public.”

Letter rulings can be instructive but they are binding only with respect to the applicant and only for a period of 3 years.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.