COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Columbia farmers market flap highlights the challenges of ensuring that products labeled as locally-grown are the real thing.
Wilson's Garden Center owner Chuck Bay says he was kicked out of the popular Columbia Farmers Market for violating the market's vendor rules.
Bay says the board of directors flagged his stand for selling starter plants that had been purchased at a wholesale produce market in the Morgan County town of Versailles. He calls the market's rules on such products vague and says the board resents that he also sets up shop at a competing farmers market with less restrictive rules.
Board members say the rules are clear: vendors must grow their own products.
A Senate committee on Wednesday considered a proposal that would let local governments impose a tax. Voters then would decide whether to continue it.
The legislation seeks to reverse a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that local sales taxes cannot be charged on vehicles purchased out of state or in private transactions. Instead the high court said a local "use tax" could be charged if approved by local voters. Creating local use taxes have had mixed results before voters.
Supporters of the legislation say many cities and counties are losing tax revenue while vehicle dealers in bordering states now have an advantage over Missouri businesses.