It appears that Missouri has lost about $2.3 billion in revenue over the past nine years because it does not collect sales taxes on purchases made over the Internet.
A report issued by the University of Missouri’s Truman School of Public Affairs says that averages out to around $468 million a year. House Minority Floor Leader Jacob Hummel (D, St. Louis) says collecting taxes on Internet sales could help fund several critical needs, including K-12 schools.
“I think if you look at just levels of school funding, when adjusted for inflation, we’re back at levels in the early (19)90’s," Hummel said. "Clearly this is a way to enhance revenue.”
Hummel says he expects several House Democrats to sponsor legislation that would authorize sales tax collections on purchases made via the Internet.
“Year after year, especially over the last few, we’ve had significant budget cuts," Hummel said. "We’ve had tremendous funding issues.”
Republicans in both the House and Senate have refused over the years to take up bills to authorize tax collections on Internet sales, saying it would amount to a de facto tax increase. The 2013 regular session begins next week.
Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport