At least two tax issues deserve your support

    There are several measures dealing with taxes that will appear on next week’s ballot, but two in particular that deserve your support. One will prevent you from paying sales tax on services in the future, while the other will extend a sales tax that has been of vital importance to the state since 1984.


    Amendment 4 asks voters if the Missouri Constitution should be amended to prohibit a new state or local sales/use or other similar tax on any service or transaction that was not subject to a sales/use or similar tax as of January 1, 2015?
    Potential costs to state and local governmental entities are unknown, but could be significant. The proposal’s passage would impact governmental entity’s ability to revise their tax structures. State and local governments expect no savings from this proposal.
    A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit a new state or local sales/use or other similar tax on any service or transaction. This amendment only applies to any service or transaction that was not subject to a sales/use or similar tax as of January 1, 2015.
    A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit such state or local sales/use or other similar tax.
    If passed, this measure will not increase or decrease taxes.
    In a nutshell, this amendment will prohibit future taxes on services, including those provided by a doctor, real estate agent, mechanic, etc. Take note, that would also include a sales tax on advertising in this newspaper.
    Other things that could be taxed if the amendment is not approved include rent, day care, tutoring, haircuts, funerals, accounting, construction, lawn care and appraisals.
    Some members of the Missouri Legislature have proposed a sales tax on services in the past several years. This measure will prevent them from doing so in the future. It deserves a “yes” vote.
    There is widespread support for Amendment 4. Among the groups seeking its passage are the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, Missouri Press Association, Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association and the Missouri Independent Bankers Association. It has no organized opposition.
    The other measure on Tuesday’s ballot deserving of a “yes” vote is Amendment 1, a measure originated with a 1984 constitutional amendment. Due to the wording of this original amendment and subsequent iterations, the measure must be renewed by voters. It is automatically referred to the ballot every 10 years. Previous versions of this amendment were approved in 1988, 1996, and 2006. If Amendment 1 is not approved in 2016, it will not be referred to future ballots.
    Amendment 1 would renew the existing sales and use tax of 0.1 percent for 10 years. The revenue from the tax goes toward state parks and soil and water conservation efforts. The measure was designed to "continue to generate approximately $90 million annually for soil and water conservation and operation of the state park system."
    There is no organized opposition to the amendment. A “yes” vote will continue collection of the sales tax for another 10 years, when it will come back before the voters.

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