Two bills that received overwhelming support in the Missouri
Senate would offer tax breaks for highway contractors and certain trucks.
Senators voted 34-0 to approve a measure that would modify
sales tax exemptions for large trucks and trailers. Sponsored by Sen. Gary
Nodler, R-Joplin, the bill would clarify the common carrier sales tax exemption
for the purchase of motor vehicles, with gross weights of 24,000 pounds or
more, or trailers.
Missouri law now applies the exemption only if the common
carrier operates solely in interstate commerce. The bill - SB30 - would make
the exemption applicable to both intrastate and interstate commerce.
Another bill approved by the Senate on a 32-1 vote is
intended to reduce the cost of roadwork throughout the state. Sponsored by Sen.
Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, the bill - SB199 - would exempt contractors from
paying sales tax on materials bought for highway projects.
Supporters of the effort say if Missouri contractors are
freed from paying the tax they would be on a level playing field with
out-of-state contractors, or those who go elsewhere for their supplies, The Associated Press reported. They also
point out the Missouri Department of Transportation would save money because
the sales tax paid to the state is factored in when contractors bid on
The change in state law could be worth $37 million for the
transportation department during the next three years, according to the latest
fiscal analysis on the bill. That money could not be used for non-road needs,
including mass transit, railroads or port improvements.
Eliminating the tax is expected to cost the state about $18
million in general revenue in the first year.
Both bills have been forwarded to the House for further