Legislation requiring the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) to create a map of all of the state’s special taxing districts on its website is heading to Governor Eric Greitens’ desk.
State Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, recently told the Capitol Press Corps the growth of special taxing districts in Missouri is an issue that continues to come up.
“We now have 2,200 of these districts across our state and most of them have been created very recently,” he says.
The special taxing districts include ambulance, levee, library, port authority and transportation development districts.
“Unfortunately, there’s currently no state entity that provides a comprehensive view of where all these districts are and how they overlap, and when they overlap, they tend to put upward pressures on sales tax rates,” says Christofanelli.
Rep. Christofanelli notes there are some places in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions with sales tax rates over 10%, and some nearing 12%.
“If you’re going to buy something that’s a sizable amount, to just go on the website and see that if you buy it in this Best Buy or the one down the street, you could see a 2% difference in your sales tax rate,” Christofanelli says.
He says the map will help residents learn where these districts are, where the residents live, work and shop. Christofanelli also says it will help Missouri lawmakers know how many special taxing districts are located in their districts.
House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, says the special taxing districts can be confusing for residents.
Richardson says transparency in government has been a top priority for House Republicans, who control the chamber 115-47.
The Christofanelli bill also had strong support from Democrats in both chambers. The Senate approved his bill 28-0, and the House vote was 120-1.
The two-page bill, which is heading to the governor’s desk, says the Department of Revenue may contract with another entity to build and maintain the map.
The bill would require DOR to implement the mapping feature by July 1, 2019.
Copyright © 2018 · Missourinet