An omnibus transportation bill on its way to the Missouri governor’s desk includes multiple issues of interest to truckers. Topics addressed cover common carriers, medical certification, “move over” rules and commercial zones.
In the waning days of the regular session, House and Senate lawmakers reached agreement on provisions that include expanding a sales and use tax exemption for certain haulers. SB470 would also modify the definition of a “common carrier.”
Missouri law now exempts trucks and trailers used by common carriers from state and local sales and use taxes. An exemption is also made available for materials, replacements parts and equipment.
The tax exemptions would be expanded to include motor carriers and trucks weighing at least 24,000 pounds or trailers used for transporting person or property, respectively.
The state Department of Revenue reported in fiscal year 2011 there were about 12,000 trucks registered with 24,000-pound plates. They paid more than $8 million in state sales and use tax.
If signed into law, the state DOT, cities and counties would collect fewer vehicles sales tax revenues.
In addition, a common carrier would no longer be required to “hold itself out to the general public” to transport property or passengers.
A separate provision in the 68-page bill would add another type of vehicle to be protected in the state’s “move over” law.
Missouri’s law requires vehicles approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights to move into a lane away from the vehicle. If unable to change lanes, the driver is required to slow down.
Vehicles protected in the rule include fire and police personnel, as well as ambulances and tow trucks.
The bill would include state transportation emergency response vehicles and motorist assist vehicles.
Another provision would bring the state in line with the federal rules on medical certification.
CDL holders operating interstate now are required to provide proof from a doctor to state licensing offices that they are healthy enough to get behind the wheel. Failure to certify by early 2014 could result in a downgrade of licenses and possible suspension.
The bill would match up state statute with federal requirements.
Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, wrote in a recent newsletter that the change is necessary “to bring the state in line with federal standards and put more money toward our roads.”
States such as Missouri have every incentive to adopt the federal rules. Failure to meet deadlines could cost states 5 percent of their federal highway funds. In the case of the Show Me State, failure to act would result in the loss of $30 million.
Also attached to the bill is a provision to expand the Kansas City commercial zone. The affected area would include state Route 45 from its intersection with Interstate 29 to the village of Iatan, north of the metropolitan area.
Collection of sales tax for transportation purposes in Kansas City and St. Louis would also get a makeover. If approved, construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of sidewalks, trails and parking lots would be added to the list of projects that could benefit from sales tax revenue.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Missouri, click here.
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