Missourians will vote to stop a tax next week that’s never even come close to being started.
Amendment 3 would establish a constitutional amendment that would prevent state or local governments from imposing a “transfer tax.” Follow this link to see the official ballot measure. The Association of Realtors is a major force behind the issue, and Missouri Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall explains what a transfer tax would do.
“It’s a tax on a piece of property anytime it transfers from one person to another. It could be from a buyer to a seller, it could be from a builder to a developer, it could even be from a loved one to their heir. Many states have a transfer tax. Missouri currently does not, so this is a proactive measure,” Mendenhall said.
State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford says it’s not ‘proactive,’ it’s just downright unnecessary.
“It has not been proposed in Missouri. Missouri’s House and Senate are filled with people that oppose any kind of revenue enhancement strategy for the most part. It’s tax cuts that get approved here instead of tax increases,” Mott Oxford said. “It just seems unlikely in our state. If it were to happen, if suddenly there were this groundswell of support in the legislature, if it produced very much money at all it would still go to a vote of the people.”
Mendenhall equates a transfer tax to “double taxation.”
“Each year Missourians already currently pay thousands of dollars on their property taxes. A transfer tax, then, would be an additional tax on their property so it would be a ‘double tax’ on their property. In many states sometimes this tax can range up to 4%,” Mendenhall said. “Transfer taxes currently exist in 37 states, and in fact they exist in all the states surrounding Missouri. So this is an opportunity for Missouri voters to tell their representatives, tell their senators, tell everyone that we don’t want a transfer tax in Missouri.”
Mott Oxford says there’s no intention for the state to implement a tax like this one.
“Other than this so-called ‘fair tax’ idea that’s been proposed in the legislature in the last few years, to eliminate all income tax and replace it with a massive sales tax on virtually everything. But that measure is opposed by such a broad coalition of groups that I don’t think it’s a serious threat,” Mott Oxford said.
She says implementing that tax would also require a vote of the people, which could likely override this constitutional amendment, anyway. She says that only continues the argument that Amendment 3 is unnecessary. But she does concede it will probably pass.
“I think Amendment 3 is apt to pass because people are so worried about new taxes being created, but the truth is no one is trying to create this tax in Missouri,” Mott Oxford said.
The measure will be on the ballot statewide on Tuesday.