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  • Writer's pictureAIM Team

Brain cancer exemption advances in House and Senate

Representative Dr. Lisa Thomas, photo courtesy Tim Bommel, Mo. House of Representatives

March 2, 2023 - The Missouri House today approved HB 154, an AIM-supported bill that would clarify the exemption of brain cancer treatment devices from state and local sales and use taxes.

The devices are useful to terminal brain cancer patients by slowing the growth of cancerous tumors in the brain. They are portable, allowing users to maintain mobility and may provide additional months of life for patients.

Rep. Dr. Lisa Thomas sponsored the legislation again this year. The bill was third read on a vote of 150-1. Rep. Bishop Davidson was the only vote against the bill.

"I am honored to carry a bill that reduces the tax burden on seriously ill and/or disabled individuals," said Rep. Thomas. "The Missouri House of Representatives clearly agrees that reclassifying certain reusable medical treatment devices and associated supplies, especially for terminal brain cancer patients, is the right thing to do!"

AIM was successful in working with the General Assembly to pass legislation in 2013 and 2016 that addressed this same issue. The Missouri Department of Revenue said the 2013 legislation was insufficient due to a technical error and the 2016 bill contained other provisions Gov. Mike Parson found objectionable, leading to a veto, although the Governor stated in his veto letter he supported the brain cancer treatment exemption. The Missouri Dept. of Revenue testified in support of the legislation this year.

"We are pleased to see the bill advancing this session," said Ray McCarty, president/CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. "It is a shame it has taken us this long to pass this simple provision. Unfortunately, every year that goes by means taxes are being paid unnecessarily by cancer patients through the amount they pay for such devices and supplies - patients that unfortunately will not be here to benefit from the exemption. State and local governments have plenty of sources of tax revenue without taxing terminal brain cancer patients and we are happy future cancer patients will be able to avoid taxes on these items if we are able to pass it through the Senate and get it to the Governor's desk," said McCarty.

Sen. Andrew Koenig also advanced the legislation yesterday. His bill that accomplishes the same purpose, SB 173, was heard in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee chaired by Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman. AIM supported the bill in that hearing.

Later in the day, Sen. Koenig added the language to SB 131, a bill whose original purpose is to exempt firearms and ammunition from sales tax, and the bill was perfected in the Senate. The bill faces an additional vote in the Senate before moving to the House for further consideration.

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