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Nixon may veto out-of-state vehicle sales tax bill

car dealership.JPG
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
A used car dealership in central Missouri.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) is threatening to veto legislation passed Wednesday that would require Missouri residents to pay sales taxes on autos, boats and other vehicles purchased in other states.

Nixon called the measure a tax increase that flies in the face of a State Supreme Court ruling issued earlier this year that limited sales tax collections to purchases made in Missouri.  State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City) says, though, vetoing the bill would threaten jobs.

“There will be dealers that will lose employees, there will be people laid off at dealerships across the state," Kehoe said.  "Municipalities all over our state, counties, their budgets will be impacted, it’ll impact police, fire, streets.”

Nixon says, though, that Missouri voters should have a say in whether they have to pay sales taxes on out-of-state vehicle purchases.  Kehoe, who used to own a Ford dealership in Jefferson City, is open to that option, but the bill sent to the governor does not require voter approval.

An alternate version that would give voters a say in the matter is still alive, but lawmakers would have to pass it before 6:00 p.m. Friday. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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