Election issues results: Parks, campaign limits, photo voter ID pass, as do limits on sales taxes | St. Louis Public Radio

Election issues results: Parks, campaign limits, photo voter ID pass, as do limits on sales taxes

Nov 9, 2016

Updated at 1 a.m. Nov. 9 with final results - The attempts to raise cigarette and tobacco taxes for roads or early childhood education went down to defeat.

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Amendment 1 will continue for 10 years the one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax that supports soil and water conservation, state parks and historic sites. With 85 percent of the vote counted, the tax had a resounding 80 percent of the vote.

Missouri voters added the parks and soils tax to the state Constitution in 1984 to establish predictable funding for state parks and conservation projects. It has been renewed three times previously.

The tax brought in more than $88 million in fiscal 2015. Along with providing much of the funding for state parks, it supports 100 percent of the soil and water program.

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Amendment 2 will amend the Missouri Constitution to limit contributions to $2,600 for state-based offices and will curb donations from individual entities or other committees to political party committees at $25,000. It will also bar corporations or labor unions from making direct contributions to campaigns. They would still be able to form a political action committee and advocate for or against candidates.

Voters rejected Amendment 3, which would have increased taxes on cigarettes gradually until 2020, at which time the tax on a pack would have increased by 60 cents. Missouri cigarette tax is now 17 cents, the lowest in the country. It also would have added a fee of 67 cents a pack on certain cigarettes. The funds raised would have gone to a new Early Childhood Health and Education Trust Fund.

Discussion of Amendment 3 was usually paired with Proposition A, would have raised taxes on cigarettes by 23 cents a pack and by other tobacco products by 5 percent. It, too, was defeated.

The other tax issue on the ballot was Amendment 4, which passed. This does not add a tax, but rather puts into the constitution a bar on new sales tax on services. Scott Charton, who worked for the measure, explained, "Amendment 4 is a pre-emptive strike to stop sales taxes on services. Politicians borrow bad ideas. Other states such as North Carolina and Washington have implemented sales taxes on services just this year. Our neighboring states of Oklahoma and Illinois have had lawmakers discussing sales taxes on services to close some pretty significant budget holes.”

Amendment 6 would authorize Missouri lawmakers to pass a photo ID statute. Supporters of this proposal said they had to go through the constitution to make the change because the Missouri Supreme Court years earlier had tossed out photo-ID mandates, saying they violated the state constitution.

The statute to implement the photo ID mandate has already been passed. It stipulates that the state would pay for supporting documents, such as a birth certification, that individuals would need to get government-issued identification. That’s expected to cost the state roughly $17 million over three years. The law stipulates that if the state doesn't cover such costs, the photo-ID mandate cannot be enforced.

The implementation measure would also allow people without photo IDs to cast regular ballots if they sign a legally binding affidavit promising they are who they say they are.

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