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Missouri Senate and House of Representatives push legislation “across the finish line” o

With the Missouri Senate steering clear of a breakdown over controversial legislation, the Missouri House and Senate on Friday used the final hours of the 2016 Legislative Session to push several important pieces of legislation across the finish line and on to the governor’s desk for final action.

Late Thursday night, the Senate and House gave final passage to Senate Bill 823, which contained language that will prevent the Missouri Department of Revenue from issuing assessments based on a Missouri Supreme Court decision which overturned a quarter century’s worth of judicial precedent regarding sales tax exemptions for manufacturing equipment.

“While the Missouri Supreme Court had been moving with the times and recognizing a 21st century definition of manufacturing, the Court on April 5, 2016, issued a decision that attempts to turn back time and require an antiquated definition of manufacturing,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. “Without this legislation, the Missouri Department of Revenue could increase taxes on Missouri businesses that have relied on this updated definition of manufacturing that was made by the Court and the Legislature over the last 25 years. Taxpayers need to be protected while we have a thorough debate in the next session of the legislature regarding the proper way to apply sales and use tax manufacturing and processing exemptions in the 21st century.”

Earlier in the week, the legislature passed these important bills:

  1. Senate Bill 702 –  Modifies the law relating to unemployment compensation benefits.

  2. House Bill 2030 – Authorizes a tax deduction equal to fifty percent of the capital gain resulting from the sale of employer securities to a certain Missouri stock ownership plans.

  3. Senate Bill 578 – Establishes the Missouri Commercial Receivership Act and exempts firearms from attachment in bankruptcy proceedings.

  4. Senate Bill 700 – Modifies the law relating to workers’ compensation premium rates.

  5. House Bill 1870 – Changes the laws regarding the Big Government Get Off My Back Act.

  6. House Bill 2381 – Changes the laws regarding mine property

  7. House Bill 2150 – Requires life insurance companies to compare policies, annuities, and accounts against a death master file for potential matches and to either pay beneficiaries or remit unclaimed benefits to state treasurer.

  8. House Bill 1713 – Requires the Department of Natural Resources to provide information regarding advanced technologies to upgrade existing lagoon-based wastewater systems to meet any new or existing discharge requirements.

  9. Senate Bill 919 – Modifies provisions relating to beer coolers and “growlers”.

On Friday, the House sped through important legislation such as Senate Bill 861, which includes language important to freight forwarders; House Bill 1582 dealing with withholding tax filing requirements for small businesses and electronic filing  of W-2 forms for larger businesses; House Bill 1435 which includes some sales tax refund language favored by Associated Industries of Missouri;  Senate Bill 1025 which exempts exercise classes from sales tax; and numerous other bills.

The Senate passed a few non-controversial bills before taking up the more controversial issues.  The Senate adjourned about two hours before the constitutional deadline, something that has rarely been seen.

While the Senate finished its business early, the House continued to take up legislation until the session’s final moments.

“Associated Industries of Missouri thanks the legislature for passing meaningful tort reform bills, necessary tax bills,  and many more business-friendly bills, and we thank them for not passing bills that would have increased the cost of doing business in Missouri,” said McCarty.

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