St. Louis Public Radio News
10:02 am
Fri June 27, 2003

Auditor: Missouri Missing Sales Tax Revenue

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri has about 115 ways to avoid paying sales tax. For almost all of them, the state doesn't know how much tax revenue it's missing.

The statements are in an audit released Thursday by State Auditor Claire McCaskill.

A wide array of purchases are exempt from some taxes, ranging from food and insulin to animals used for breeding or feeding purposes.

The state collected $2.8 billion in sales taxes last year, and about $110 billion worth of exempt items were sold in the same period.

McCaskill recommends the Division of Taxation find out exactly how much tax revenue could be collected, and from what sources.

But the Taxation Division claims little could be gained by such a determination.