Will Missouri lawmakers override vehicle tax veto?

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 9/12/2012

The Missouri capitol building is alive again this week as lawmakers convene for a special veto session. Among the issues that could get attention is a possible override of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill to allow communities to resume levying taxes on certain vehicle purchases.

The state Supreme Court ruled this spring that cities and counties cannot collect sales taxes when vehicle purchases are made in another state. The court also decided that the rule should apply to individual sellers.

Following the decisions, the Republican-led Legislature overwhelmingly backed a bill to allow the collection of sales taxes on affected purchases, including trailers. Since the veto in July, supporters have been preparing to bring the legislation – HB1329 – back up for consideration during this week’s session.

In the days leading up to the veto session, the Democratic governor sent a letter to members of the General Assembly encouraging them not to overturn his veto.

Nixon said that if lawmakers override the veto it would retroactively raise taxes on more than 122,000 vehicles purchased since the March court decision.

Bill supporters say something needs to be done about the perceived tax loophole. They say that Missouri vehicle dealerships are losing business and local governments are losing revenues.

Senate Transportation Chairman Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, said the veto greatly affects more people residing near any of the state’s eight boundary lines.

“Some counties in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas are looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue because of the court ruling and the veto of HB1329,” Stouffer wrote in a recent newsletter.

Instead, Gov. Nixon said he would prefer that local jurisdictions decide on whether to authorize a use tax.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Missouri, click here.

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