State Senate passes several bills important to Missouri business
The Missouri Senate Thursday put in a busy morning, giving final passage to several bills supported by Associated Industries of Missouri. The bills now move on to the House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 673, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), would base the maximum duration of unemployment benefits on the Missouri unemployment rate. While this legislation still has some language that AIM considers problematic, we support the goal of the bill to reduce the amount of unemployment payments. AIM will work to remove a provision that would allow retention of an additional $120 million of employers’ unemployment money before lowering unemployment rates.
Senate Bill 693, sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson (R-Bolivar), exempts motor vehicles older than ten years from the sales tax on titling.
Senate Bill 723, sponsored by Sen. Parson raises the cap on the amount revenue bonds that may be issued and limits the use of the funds to renovation of existing state buildings.
SB 829, the Senate version of the “taxpayer is innocent until proven guilty” bill, was given final approval in the Senate and sent to the House. This bill would treat all taxpayers equally and require the Missouri Department of Revenue to prove additional tax liability as long as a taxpayer has adequate records and has provided the agency access to those records. AIM supports this bill.
AIM also supports SB 584, a bill that would redefine places of amusement for the purposes of the sales tax law. That bill was also given Senate approval Thursday. An amendment exempting used manufactured homes was added to the bill, as was an amendment to clarify that exempt organization admissions would continue to be exempt. Further refinement of the language will be necessary in the House, but the bill addresses a source of many complaints from taxpayers resulting from audits by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
SB 777, an aircraft repair parts exemption extension that is necessary for a company that will bring more than 500 jobs to the Kansas City area, was also given Senate approval. Again, this bill is supported by Associated Industries of Missouri.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 40, sponsored by Sen. Brad Lager, urges the Environmental Protection Agency to rely on state regulators to develop carbon dioxide emissions standards, while HCR 4 urges the Obama administration to support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Concurrent resolutions are non-binding, but serve to state the body’s stance on important issues.
Also on Thursday, the Missouri House gave final passage to HB 1617, which requires annual written approval to withhold from a government worker to pay union fees or dues. The bill passed the House with a one vote margin. The bill now heads to the State Senate.
Also on Thursday, the House discussed HJR 68, the legislation that would allow Missouri voters to decide whether to impose a one cent sales tax for transportation needs. After about a half hour, the bill was laid aside for debate at a later date.