For the past two sessions, I have been honored to chair the
Senate Ways and Means Committee. The committee has an outstanding
membership, including members from both the majority and minority. While
members of any body will not always agree on legislation, it has always
been a pleasure to work with my fellow senators.
In addition to Senate Bills 509 & 496, Senate Bill 662,
Senate Bill 892, House Bill 1296, House Bill 1454, and House Bill 1710,
all of which I sponsored and covered in last week’s Capitol Report, the
Ways and Means Committee passed several other priority bills that have
reached the governor’s desk. Here are summaries of those bills.
Senate Bill 584 started as a bill to redefine “places of
entertainment” because of the Department of Revenue’s expansion of the
definition to include instructional and training facilities like
gymnastics and dance studios. Because it focuses on specifying current
sales tax law, several other clarifications were added. When an
administrative branch is redefining and misinterpreting laws passed by
previous lawmakers, it is necessary for us to fix that problem in
Senate Bill 612 extends the distribution of the state’s
non-resident entertainer and athlete tax to various art organizations.
The tax is paid by out-of-state entertainers and athletes when they
perform or play in Missouri. By statute, that tax goes to an arts fund,
not the general fund. SB 612 clarifies that the fund is subject to
legislative appropriation. Similar language was also passed through the
committee in House Bill 1237.
Senate Bill 693 started as a tax exemption for vehicles more than
10 years old. Added were provisions to exempt disaster relief efforts
form sales taxes, and certain taxes from tax increment financing rules.
The bill also contains several other tax exemption fixes mentioned
Senate Bill 727 exempts farmers’ markets from the food sales tax
as an incentive for people to buy fresh produce. It also creates a pilot
program to encourage the use of SNAP (food stamps) cards at farmers’
markets. Added in the House was a provision to allow drug felons to use
the SNAP program.
Senate Bill 860 was written to provide a sales tax exemption for
the sale of used manufactured homes. SB 860 was amended to include many
of the sales tax exemptions discussed here and in last week’s
House Bill 1865 extends a provision exempting tax on utilities
used in manufacturing to makers of food and food products. Only the
state tax is exempted; local taxes would still apply.
House Bill 2029 extends a current sales tax exemption for the
repair of, and the parts required for the repair of, airplanes. Both
major airports in our state, located in Kansas City and St. Louis, have
fairly new private repair companies who came to Missouri partly for this
House Joint Resolution 48 creates a new lottery ticket with the
proceeds going entirely toward the Veterans Commission Capital
Improvement Trust Fund. This will appear on the November 2014 ballot for
The governor has already signaled that he may veto several of
these bills. His estimates of the cost of these programs are not in line
with the official fiscal notes. Most of the sales tax exemption bills
passed were heard in multiple committees and on the floor of both
chambers. While some were passed on the last day, that is typical in
session. It doesn’t mean the bills were not well-vetted. These are
reasonable clarifications and extensions of good sales tax policy.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at
any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions, and
trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone
at (573) 751-1464, or e-mail at email@example.com.