Sales Tax

St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar joined Stenger on Wednesday in announcing the minimum standards proposal.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A measure to boost sales taxes to help law enforcement agencies may be going to St. Louis County voters.

The St. Louis County Council gave initial approval today for the ballot item. The one-half of 1 percent sales tax hike would partly go to the St. Louis County Police Department. The rest would go to St. Louis County municipalities.

Police chief Jon Belmar says funding raised by the tax would be distributed based on population and would go toward increasing hiring, salaries and access to technology like body cameras.

Gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens looks at his ballot before sitting down to vote at the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Of the four constitutional amendments passed by Missouri voters on Tuesday, rumblings have started about legal challenges to three of them.

Echo Bluff State Park
Missouri Department of Natural Resources

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.

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Amendment 4 on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A. This was in an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on their Nov. 8 ballot.

Brian Boucheron I Flickr

Missourians are slated to vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban sales taxes on services.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander certified the measure, known as Amendment 4, last week for the Nov. 8 ballot. The relatively short amendment says:

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal walks out of the Senate chamber as the Senate adjourns for the session earlier this year in Jefferson City.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Voters in parts of St. Louis County won't get a chance to vote anytime soon on a sales tax increase for St. Louis County Police Department. And St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is not happy with a Democratic state senator for prompting that outcome.

For the past couple of legislative sessions, Stenger has wanted Missouri lawmakers to authorize a vote for a sales tax increase in unincorporated St. Louis County. The proceeds would go to the St. Louis County Police Department, and could be used for a number of initiatives, including making sure each patrol car contains two police officers.

Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, was a major supporter of changing St. Louis County's sales tax distribution system.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has approved a change to St. Louis County’s complicated and controversial system for distributing a 1-cent sales tax.

Now, it’s up to the Missouri House whether to support or reject the idea.  And then Gov. Jay Nixon will decide whether to agree.

StanJourdan | Flickr

For now, it’s all over but the counting. The Missouri Secretary of State’s office will be busy the next few weeks determining whether five initiative-petition proposals collected enough valid signatures to get on the state’s August or November ballot.

internet shopping
Screen capture

Consumers may like the ability to shop online and avoid paying state and local sales taxes, and many online retailers may like the competitive advantage the arrangement provides them over “bricks and mortar” businesses across the country, but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. says the situation has a significant price.

“It’s really not fair to say to that store down the block that’s paying rent and paying property taxes and collecting sales tax (that) we’re going to put them at a disadvantage to their Internet counterparts.”

Missouri Department of Transportation

A fuel tax increase now has more support than a sales tax increase to help pay for Missouri’s roads and bridges.

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s most recent survey finds 24 percent of Missourians favor raising taxes on fuel — an increase of 9 points since 2013. Meanwhile, raising the sales tax has lost support, falling four points to 17 percent.

Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger speaks with a member of the St. Louis County Police Department on Tuesday. The council approved transferring money from the county emergency fund to pay for police overtime accrued during the Ferguson unrest.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is strongly backing a state legislative effort that could result in more money for the St. Louis County Police Department.

But the legislation has become intertwined with a push to change the county sales tax pool — a system that evokes immense division among St. Louis County’s 90 municipalities.

St. Louis County's sales tax distribution system has long been a source of contention. And a Webster University professor says the only way to resolve differences is to come to a compromise among municipalities.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Jim Brasfield has taken on what may be a thankless task -- examining St. Louis County's famously complicated sales tax distribution system. 

Brasfield is a professor at Webster University and previously served as the mayor of Crestwood. He recently finished a study in late December of the distribution system for the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Rep. Sue Allen, R-Town and Country
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Sue Allen to the show for the first time. (The show’s pre-eminent host, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel, is taking it easy after battling an illness.)  

Redoing the Grand Boulevard Bridge filled just one piece of the city's transportations needs. Derek AuBuchon was foreman of a crew that painted the bridge’s four metal towers.
Tom Nagel | File photo

I want to speak to city voters and to our friends. The rest of you should take this opportunity to check the Cardinals score.

The city of St. Louis has big plans over the next 10 years. I am talking about the kind of transportation system that befits a great city.

We want to create a major streetcar line centered downtown with a North-South and an East-West route.

/ Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated on Wednesday at 4 p.m.)

The mayor of Chesterfield is sticking by his threat for his city to secede from St. Louis County, contending that his city is fed up with a lack of progress on changing the county’s sales tax distribution system. 

But St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley has dismissed the threat, calling Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation’s comments “over the top.”

via Flickr/KOMUnews

A proposed constitutional amendment to let voters decide if they want to create a temporary 1-cent transportation sales tax has received first-round approval in the Missouri House.

Flickr/Jeremy Noble

Missouri lawmakers are weighing what role bicycles should play in the future of transportation spending. 

A proposed constitutional amendment would raise the state sales tax by a penny to bridge any anticipated shortfalls over the next ten years. Most of the money would be for roads and bridges, but 10 percent could be earmarked by local governments for alternative forms of transportation including bicycle, air, rail, and pedestrian projects.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Proponents of a transportation sales tax were dealt a big blow last year when a legislative effort died at the last minute. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on putting a 1-cent sales tax increase before voters.   

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

The Illinois Supreme Court is invalidating a two-year-old Illinois law charging taxes on certain Internet sales.

The justices ruled 6-1 in an opinion released Friday to invalidate the so-called "Amazon tax." The ruling determined that the law violates a pre-emptive federal decree prohibiting "discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The grand opening of two new outlet malls in Chesterfield appears to have also launched a rekindled debate into St. Louis County’s complicated sales tax formula that pits “pool cities’’ against their “point of sale’’ counterparts.

The current setup, says Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation, amounts to “redistribution of wealth in a bad sense.”

(via Flickr/andrewarchy)

Ready, set, shop. 

A new school year is approaching, and shoppers will head to stores this weekend for a tax-free holiday on school supplies, electronics and some clothing. 

John Mollenkamp, acting director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, says shoppers can save up to 8 or 9 percent if local governments also participate in the tax breaks.

UMSL associate professor of economics Lea Kosnik said such sales make people excited to run to the stores and spend money they may not normally spend.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

In a new report Wednesday, Missouri received a lackluster grade on its infrastructure. Citing “pressing issues,” the American Society of Civil Engineers graded Missouri as a C- overall.

Missouri’s Speaker of the House, Republican Tim Jones of Eureka, said it proves several goals of the just-ended legislative session were worth focusing on.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Senate’s approval of a “marketplace fairness” bill to make it easier for states to collect taxes on internet sales now shifts the focus to the U.S. House and – ultimately – to states such as Missouri that don’t enforce their existing internet sales taxes.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – As the Senate moved toward May approval of the “marketplace fairness” bill, which aims to help states force online retailers to collect sales taxes, backers agreed that the plan would require action from the Missouri Legislature to have much impact in the state.

“I think this does provide the tools that the legislature needs” to modify the existing – but unenforced – Missouri state tax on internet purchases, said U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., a cosponsor of the Senate legislation.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers have sent legislation to Governor Jay Nixon (D) that would levy local sales taxes on vehicles purchased in other states with voters’ approval.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Jason Rosenbaum is out this week, so we have St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin filling in. Marshall joins Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Beacon and Chris McDaniel of St. Louis Public Radio to discuss the week in politics.

On this week's show: Marshall fills us in on the first half of the legislative session, talking about proposed changes to taxes and tenured teachers, and then Jo discusses the developments with the Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

via Flickr/KOMUnews

A proposed constitutional amendment that would create a temporary one-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs has passed the Missouri Senate.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated to correct Alex Ihnen quote.

Despite concerns about the oversight of funds, a committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved on Thursday a sales tax meant to help pay for upgrades of the Arch grounds.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Sales tax holiday this weekend in Missouri - except for a few municipalities

It will be a big weekend for back-to-school shopping in Missouri as the state's annual sales tax holiday runs Friday through Sunday. School supplies, clothing items under $100, and personal computers under $3,500 are among the goods that will be exempt from the state's 4.2 percent tax.

Cities and counties can choose to opt out and charge local taxes, but as Missouri Department of Revenue spokesman Ted Farnen says many are taking part.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

St. Louis County Council gives initial approves $46 million budget for Metro

Last night the St. Louis County Council moved one step closer to approving two funding bills for the public transit agency, Metro -  despite one councilman raising concerns about how the agency has spent tax dollars in the past.

Councilman Steve Stenger had threatened to withhold around $6 million- the amount Metro transit paid to a developer in 2010 for spaces in a Brentwood parking garage.

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