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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects.
   
The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. It was adopted by the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday with a 6-1 vote.
 
 If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. The tax is estimated to generate $800 million annually and $8 billion over its 10-year lifespan.
 
 The lone "no" vote on the Senate panel was Republican Sen. John Lamping, who led the fight against similar legislation last year. He says Republicans are sending a mixed message by raising sales taxes, while also passing an income tax cut this year.
 
Supporters say the tax is necessary for Missouri to maintain its highway system.
   
 
Published in Local News

   The cost of everything is about to go up in Edwardsville, but only by a little.  

   The Edwardsville City Council Thursday night approved a 0.25 percent home-rule sales tax increase on a 5-2 vote.  The currently 6.85 percent sales tax will go up to 7.1 percent, adding 25 cents to every $100 spent in the metro-east city.  

   The additional revenue will be used to build a new police and fire station with the goal of cutting emergency response times.  

   Proponents of the sales tax say it would be unfair to put the whole burden of paying for the new station on property owners. 

Published in Local News
   The city of Edwardsville is considering a quarter-percent sales tax increase to help pay for new fire and police stations.  That means shoppers would pay an extra 25 cents on every $100 they spend on goods and services within the city.  The tax hike would raise about $1.2 million in additional revenue each year.  
   Mayor Hal Patton tells Fox 2 News the number of homes has doubled in the city over the last four years, and the number of students at SIU-Edwardsville is also growing.  That growth, he says, is sometimes stretching emergency response times from the ususal 6-8 minutes to 16-to-18 minutes. "We feel these facilities are critically needed and we need to move forward with this plan," he said.
   Mayor Patton says everyone agrees that the new facilities are needed, the only controversy is over how to pay for them. He says a sales tax increase is more fair that the alternatives.  "We're better off having everybody pay a little bit as opposed to having our property tax payers burden the whole cost," he said.   
   The Edwardsville City Council meeting is expected to discuss the proposal at a special meeting on Thursday.
 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering a one-cent sales tax increase to fund state transportation projects.
 
Transportation officials said Tuesday the penny tax could generate $8 billion over the next decade. They say the tax increase is necessary for the state to maintain roads and bridges, and to fund new infrastructure projects.
 
If approved by the Legislature, the tax would go on the statewide ballot in November. The tax would need to be re-approved by voters after 10 years to remain in effect. Ten percent of funds raised by the sales tax would go toward local transportation projects.
 
The measure cleared both the House and Senate but failed to win final passage in the waning days of last year's legislative session.
Published in Local News

   The St. Louis Rams are again asking the state of Missouri to refund some of the taxes they've paid.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the team has filed six appeals since 2008 asking for a total of $4.7 million.  

   This time, the team is claiming it collected too much in taxes from ticket buyers -- about 40 cents per $100 ticket.  The paper reports Rams attorneys have filed a tax appeal asking for a $401,000 refund.  And they want the state to forgive another $445,000.  

   The Rams say they discovered they've been charging state sales taxes on base ticket prices plus city taxes.

   The team admits it can't return the money to ticket buyers.

Published in Local News

   KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Online retailer Amazon is severing ties with its online associates in Missouri because of a new state sales tax law.

   Amazon Associates are people who write blogs or product reviews then link to Amazon.com. They collect commissions if people use their link to buy at Amazon.

   The Kansas City Star reports that Amazon blames its decision to sever ties with its Missouri associates on a new state new law that takes effect this month subjecting those transactions to sales taxes. The retailer says it will no longer pay advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon site after Aug. 27.

   Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, a Kanas City Democrat, says lawmakers didn't hear from Amazon when the bill was under debate in the Legislature. 

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 11:11

Gov. Nixon vetoes income tax cut

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have reduced Missouri's income tax rates for the first time in more than 90 years.

The legislation vetoed Wednesday had been touted by the Republican-led Legislature as a way to keep Missouri economically competitive with neighbors such as Kansas and Oklahoma that have cut taxes.

But Nixon cited concern about an apparent mistake in the legislation that would have repealed an existing sales tax exemption on prescription medicine. The Democratic governor also has raised concern that the lost income tax revenues could hurt funding for education and mental health services.

The bill would have gradually reduced corporate and individual income tax rates while also creating a new deduction for business income reported on individual income taxes.

Published in Local News

   WASHINGTON (AP) - Attention online shoppers: The days of tax-free shopping on the Internet may soon end for many of you.

   The Senate is voting on a bill today that would empower states to collect sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. The measure is expected to pass because it has already survived three procedural votes.

   The bill faces opposition in the House, where some Republicans regard it as a tax increase. But there is a broad coalition of retailers lobbying in favor of it.

   Under current law, states can only require retailers to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state. As a result, many online sales are tax-free, giving Internet retailers an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.

 
Published in National News

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon says he remains opposed to a bill that would raise the state sales tax while cutting income taxes for individuals and businesses.

   Nixon released a statement Thursday saying that a sales tax increase would shift the tax burden to seniors and veterans on fixed incomes. He said it "is not the right approach to growing our economy or creating jobs."

   His reaction comes after the House passed a bill Wednesday that would gradually cut the individual income tax by two-thirds of a percentage point over five years while also reducing business taxes.

   To offset part of the lost revenue, the bill would gradually raise the sales tax by three-fifths of a cent.

   Nixon also had opposed an earlier version of the bill passed by the Senate

Published in Local News

   Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wants consumers to pay sales tax on their purchases, whether they shop in a local store, or online.  

   Consumers are already supposed to pay sales tax for online purchases.  But very few do since there's no uniform collection method, and the onus to pay is placed on the consumer, not the retailer.  In Illinois, for instance, those who file state tax returns are asked to list their online purchases and pay sales tax for them.

   Durbin says the current rules are not fair to brick and mortar stores, who must collect sales tax from their customers.  Durbin has sponsored a bill that would require Internet stores to do the same.  

   The Senate will soon begin debate on the Market Fairness Act.  It could be voted on as early as this week.  

   Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt have both said they favor the move.

Published in Local News
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