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Senate moves on tax issues this week

Several Senate Committees took action on various tax bills this week, including two bills designed to add additional taxpayers to Missouri’s tax rolls.

HB 55, sponsored by Rep. Tom Flanigan (R-Carthage) would provide a short amnesty period for delinquent taxpayers to come forward and pay back taxes without interest or penalty.  Eligible taxpayers must guarantee they will comply with the tax laws for 8 years or risk repayment of any interest and penalties that had been abated under the program. AIM was successful in adding an amendment to this language, agreed to by the Missouri Department of Revenue, that would protect taxpayers that comply “in good faith” with the tax laws from this recapture.  “This bill will encourage those that owe taxes to come forward, get clean with the DOR, and start paying taxes in the future,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “Our members pay their taxes, and measures like this help even up the competitive advantage held by those that are skirting our tax laws.”  The bill was approved Thursday morning by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be eligible for debate by the full Senate when they return from the legislative spring break March 25.

Another bill would allow the Missouri Department of Revenue to pursue businesses located outside the state of Missouri that are competing with Missouri businesses for sales to Missouri customers.  SB 174, proposed by Senator Mike Parson (R-Bolivar), would update Missouri’s nexus laws.  “While federal laws still limit the ability of states to impose tax collection duties on businesses outside their borders, this bill would allow Missouri tax officials to be as aggressive as other states in collecting Missouri sales and use taxes and would help level the playing field for our Missouri retailers,” said McCarty.

In other action, the Legislative Oversight Subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Legislative Research held a special hearing on the fiscal note for the Senate’s omnibus tax bill, SB 26, sponsored by Senator Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit).  The challenge was brought by Senator Paul LeVota (D-Independence), who asked the Committee to review whether the revenue loss shown by the fiscal note should be higher because of the omission of impact for the current budget year, Fiscal Year 2014.  The Committee heard from analysts that prepared the fiscal note and determined the fiscal impact shown for the bill was actually overstated.  The Committee then lowered the revenue impact of the bill in the fiscal note and approved the new fiscal note.  The bill has advanced to the House and will next be referred to a House Committee for further consideration.  AIM is asking our members to weigh the sales and use tax increase against the income tax cuts provided by the bill and let us know the impact (see article below for more details).


AIM President McCarty explains tax cut to business leaders at Bennett Packaging in KC


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