State Representatives Give Nod To Tax System Overhaul
A measure that would revamp Missouri's tax system -- slashing the state's personal and corporate income tax in favor of an across-the-board sales tax -- made a significant step in advancing through the Legislature on Thursday, April 16.
The resolution, which would increase the state's sales tax from 4.225 percent to 5.11 percent, won final approval in the Missouri House and now moves to the state Senate for
consideration. If approved there, it would be put to Missouri voters in November 2010.
In addition to removing income tax requirements, the resolution would remove certain sales tax exemptions on purchases such as groceries and various medical services.
Supporters say it would spur job growth while thwarting the attempts of those who try to evade paying income tax. It would also force illegals who don't pay income taxes to pay a standardized tax on consumption, the sponsor of the proposal, Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, said Thursday.
Opponents question whether low-income Missourians would be unduly affected by the proposal. According to a report by the Columbia Missourian, Democratic representative Jeanette Oxford, in debate Wednesday, April 15, said low-income residents spend a higher proportion of their income on items subject to sales tax.
And Rep. Roman Lee LeBlanc, D-Jackson County, said the measure would effectively double-tax the elderly in the state.
"They pay income tax on the money they have saved up all their lives in a nest egg," LeBlanc said. "Now you
want to go and put a tax on products and services that they were currently not paying taxes on."
In a separate bill Wednesday, Missouri representatives gave first-round approval to a bill that would offer a sales tax exemption during much of the month of July.
A summary of this proposal can be viewed at