That sales tax holiday many Missourians enjoyed last August could become a permanent part of the back-to-school shopping experience. The House has given tentative approval to making permanent the experiment tried last year in which the state didn’t charge a sales tax for clothes, school supplies and computers over an August weekend. Representatives have stripped a portion of the bill that would have virtually forced local governments to go along. Representative Mark Wright of Springfield objects, accusing his local government officials of taking extreme steps to keep secret their decision to opt out. Representative Carl Bearden of St. Charles sympathizes, but says that doesn’t make it right for the state to force local governments to give up sales tax revenue. Others say provisions that would strong-arm local governments into giving up sales tax revenue could trigger a Hancock Amendment lawsuit, in which local governments could petition the state to reimburse any lost revenue.
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