Taxes | St. Louis Public Radio

Taxes

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Outrageous.

That’s the word Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway used over and over to describe her office’s findings after an audit into the state’s 205 Transportation Development Districts.

“The average citizen is getting taken advantage of here,” Galloway said Monday at a news conference to release the report. “It’s outrageous that there’s almost $1 billion in project costs that taxpayers are on the hook for. They don’t know about it and they didn’t vote for it.”

Webster Groves fire Capt. Jason Simpson puts a sign in the yard of a Proposition R supporter on March 12, 2017. Prop R is one of several public safety tax increases on the St. Louis County ballot in April.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Voters in St. Louis County, various municipalities, and in St. Clair County in Illinois are being asked to open up their wallets during the April 4 election. Up for approval: a series of tax increases to boost spending on public safety.

There’s general agreement that the police and fire departments need the extra money, but requests by both specific municipalities and St. Louis County could confuse voters. Here’s a look at each ballot measure:

Lance Weiss, a CPA with the St. Louis tax and accounting firm SFW Partners, LLC.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Except for the select few of you who have already filed your tax return, you may have started scratching your head and scrambling ahead of that April 18 deadline. Tax season is upon us!

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Maria Altman was joined by CPA Lance Weiss who is with the St. Louis tax and accounting firm SFW Partners, LLC, about tax tips you should take into account this season.

St. Louis certified public accountant Lance Weiss talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Tuesday at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

State and federal income taxes are due April 18, a deviation from years past, when they are normally due by April 15. Missourians who live in areas that were impacted by last year’s flooding also have a little more time to file, with a deadline of May 16, because of a tax relief issued by the IRS.

Athrasher | Flickr

The end of the year is looming and with it the end of the tax year as well.  Between holiday shopping, parties and travel it seems like the coming year’s taxes have been the furthest from the brain. Lucky for you, there are still steps you can take to lessen your tax burden in 2016 before 2015 is even over.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Legislative session will end in two weeks and many issues remain unsolved. “St. Louis Public Radio” statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin is following the progress. He joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh Tuesday with updates.

Much of the session revolved around improving community policing.

Here is a list of legislative topics discussed during the interview:

St. Louis certified public accountant Lance Weiss talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Tuesday at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

State and federal income taxes are due April 15, making this the time to be asking those pressing tax questions.

Tax season is underway. So is a program that helps low- to moderate-income St. Louis families prepare their taxes for free.
401(K) 2012, via Flickr

A program that helps thousands of low- to moderate-income families prepare their taxes for free is underway across the St. Louis region.

The United Way of Greater St. Louis and four local tax coalitions are offering the service throughout tax season, including taking walk-in service at 20 sites Saturday.

Sinquefield, Laffer Discuss Their Tax Theories

Jan 13, 2015
Economist Art Laffer talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 13, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

What would happen if you no longer had to pay income taxes?

Retired financial executive Rex Sinquefield and economist Art Laffer believe it would lead to economic growth and wealth.

“Sometimes when you lower taxes, you get less money. But sometimes you create enough economic activity to actually get more revenues,” Laffer told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday. “If you start lowering taxes from very high levels, you can actually sometimes actually increase revenues. Not all the time, but sometimes that happens.”

CPA Answers Your End-Of-The-Year Tax Questions

Dec 16, 2014
a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

The most wonderful time of the year means the least favorite time of the year is approaching: Tax time.

There are some things taxpayers can do now to help alleviate individual tax burdens in April, certified public account Lance Weiss of SFW Partners LLC told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The sponsor of vetoed legislation allowing some counties and municipalities to collect sales tax on certain vehicle purchases says he will not attempt to persuade the General Assembly to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s objection.

Instead, state Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, says he will work to pass an alternative to satisfy Nixon’s concerns. In his veto message last week, Nixon cited problems with the bill’s language.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would revive three benevolent tax credits in Missouri is being considered by a State House committee.

Tax breaks for food pantries, pregnancy resource centers and the Children in Crisis program all expired last year when lawmakers failed to pass any type of tax credit reform package.  Scott Baker, State Director of the Missouri Food Bank Association, testified today in favor of renewing the incentives.  He says according to the USDA, Missouri has the nation’s 7th highest food insecurity rate.

(via Flickr/Anderson Mancini)

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.”

(via Flickr/Tax Credits)

It’s said that one of the certainties in life is taxes.  However, taxes for 2012 are to some degree, uncertain because of ongoing negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff.

Host Don Marsh talked with tax expert Lance Weiss, C.P.A., of SFW Partners, LLC about end-of-year tax preparations and what can be done to minimize the amount owed on federal and state income tax returns due in April.

Flickr/SuperFantastic

Despite being rejected by voters last month, there’s a new proposal to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax.

It’s part of a bill prefiled in the Missouri Senate that would also raise the state’s sales tax by one-half percent while fixing the state income tax rate at a flat 4 percent.  The proposal would raise the cigarette tax by 26 cents, from its current 17 cents per pack to 43 cents per pack.  It’s sponsored by Republican Senator John Lamping of St. Louis County.

via Wikimedia Commoms/RamblingGambler

St. Louis County and Pinnacle Entertainment have settled a dispute over how much the River City Casino in south St. Louis County has been worth for the past three years.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

Illinois is getting $2.7 million to strengthen its efforts to fight waste and fraud in unemployment claims.

The grant from the U.S. Labor Department will help beef up anti-fraud programs launched in the past year.
 
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says it has begun garnishing tax returns of unemployment cheats, working more closely with the attorney general and holding business leaders personally liable for misstating company obligations.

via Flickr/alancleaver_2000

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill garnered some unwanted attention last year when she paid about $320,000 in overdue taxes and penalties on an airplane. As it turns out, her three leading Republican opponents also have paid penalties for late taxes.

Local officials and Missouri vehicle dealers are sending emails urging Gov. Jay Nixon to sign legislation allowing communities to continue levying taxes on vehicle purchases.

But it appears to be an uphill effort because Nixon previously said the legislation would "bypass" a public vote and improperly impose a tax. Nixon has not specifically said whether he will sign or veto the bill.

(via Flickr/401K)

For the first time this fiscal year, Missouri's state revenues are growing above the rate needed to balance the budget.

The state Office of Administration released figures on Wednesday that show Missouri's net revenues were up 3.1 percent through April - or the first 10 months of the fiscal year. The 2012 budget is based on 2.7 percent growth.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Woman wins $6 million judgment against "Girls Gone Wild"

A St. Louis judge in has awarded nearly $5.77 million to a woman who sued the makers of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos for using an image of her bare breasts without her consent.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the verdict from Judge John Garvey came down in March, after no one showed up for the defense.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

Missouri's revenues are up over last year - they're just not growing fast enough to keep the state's budget in balance.

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

Missouri House members have voted to reject a tax plan that would increase property taxes for the best farms.

Property taxes for farms are based on the land's "productive value." Farms are divided into eight groups based on land quality, with the best in Grade 1 and the worst in Grade 8. The Missouri Tax Commission has recommended increasing productive values for the four highest grades.

The property tax changes for 2013 and 2014 take effect unless the Legislature approves a resolution to reject them. House members voted 117-39 on Tuesday to reject the tax proposal.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri businessman Rex Sinquefield has donated $1.3 million to a committee that supports overhauling the state's tax code.

The committee Let Voters Decide backs a proposed ballot measure that would replace Missouri's income tax with a broader sales tax. Missouri Ethics Commission records show Sinquefield made the donation Monday. Campaign contributions of more than $5,000 must be reported within 48 hours.

(via Flickr/lilhelen)

The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld a law that created a $31 billion statewide construction program.

It unanimously rejected arguments that lawmakers improperly mixed together different issues in a single piece of legislation.

The court on Monday said all parts of the law had "a natural and logical connection" to the public works program.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation to gradually repeal a tax on some Missouri businesses.

The bill reduces Missouri's franchise tax rate over the next several years before repealing it altogether for the 2016 tax year. Nixon signed the measure Tuesday in Kansas City at Boulevard Brewing Co. He said repealing the measure will provide an incentive for companies to move to Missouri.

The state's franchise tax was levied in 1917 and applies to company assets such as buildings and inventory.

(via Flickr/seannaber)

A Missouri House member wants to ask voters to raise the state cigarette tax by 81 cents a pack.

Democrat Chris Kelly, of Columbia, outlined his plan Thursday to a House committee. He's proposing a future statewide vote on whether to raise Missouri's current 17-cent tax - the lowest in the nation - to 98 cents per pack.

Kelly says the increase could generate $425 million in state revenue, discourage people from smoking and bring down state health care costs.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

With less than a month to go in this year’s legislative session, another proposal is being made to overhaul Missouri’s tax structure.

The resolution would replace the state’s income tax with a sales tax -- and if passed by lawmakers, it would go before Missouri voters next year.

via Flickr/J_D_R

Starting next year, Illinois businesses will see a tax increase and the recently unemployed will lose a week of unemployment benefits.

That's because of a compromise bill passed this month in the Illinois Legislature.

The Rockford Register Star reports the deal is part of a longer-term plan to help contribute to Illinois' depleted unemployment trust fund, which is $3 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury.

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

Missouri's tax revenues are up 6.5 percent with only one-quarter of the budget year to go.

Figures released Monday by the state Office of Administration show the growth fueled by stronger individual and corporate income tax collections than during the 2010 fiscal year. A decline in tax refunds also has contributed to the growth in state revenues.

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