The legislature is moving to counteract a state supreme court ruling that could cost cities and counties millions of dollars in sales tax income. Lawmakers have sent a bill that they think takes care of the problem to the governor for his signature.
The court says that city and county sales and use taxes cannot be charged for automobiles, trucks, boats, and motorcycles bought in other states. The legislature has passed a law saying purchases of those vehicles are not complete until they are licensed in Missouri. That would allow the state to collect the local sales taxes and send them to the communities.
Cape Girardeau Senator Jason Crowell already has seen Illinois car leaders luring customers away from Missouri dealers by saying buyers will pay a lot less if they buy a car from an out of state dealer.
The Missouri Automobile Dealers Association counts 375 new car dealers with 20,000 employees and says 50 of those dealerships could go out of business if the sales tax issue is not fixed.
Crowell says city officials in his home town estimate Cape Girardeau County will lose 250-thousand dollars a year in sales tax revenue if the bill does not become law.