Landmark Missouri Wayfair legislation that fully implements the local use tax on internet sales is heading to the governor’s desk, after receiving final House approval Friday afternoon in Jefferson City. The bipartisan vote was 145-4, and the bill contains an emergency clause.

State Reps. Jered Taylor (left) and J. Eggleston (R-Maysville) speak on the Missouri House floor on March 4, 2021 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Senate Bill 153 is sponsored by State Sen. Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester). State Rep. J. Eggleston (R-Maysville) carried the House bill. Eggleston, who’s worked on the bill for three years, tells his House colleagues there are a lot of winners.

“The folks who wanted the special income tax reduction on the earned income tax, they’ve got that. The folks who wanted a benefit to local government, they’ve got that,” Eggleston says.

The bill is a top priority for Governor Mike Parson (R), who called for its passage during his January State of the State Address. The governor says Wayfair legislation addresses the unfair advantage that online retailers have over Missouri small businesses. Governor Parson has said that small businesses “are getting crushed” now, because they can’t compete with huge online retailers.

A statewide organization that represents more than 640 Missouri municipalities is also praising passage of the bill, saying it levels the playing field for local businesses and communities. The Missouri Municipal League (MML) pushed for passage of Wayfair. MML President and Maryland Heights City Council member Chuck Caverly says the bill “is a perfect example of protecting our brick-and-mortar businesses and our communities.”

State Rep. Steve Butz (D-St. Louis), the ranking Democrat on the House Special Committee on Small Business, urged colleagues to vote for the bill on Friday.

“When we started this whole journey three years ago, one group that was critically important to was regular brick-and-mortar stores. We had to have a level playing field for them,” says Butz.

The GOP and Democratic leaders in the Missouri House also praise the bill. Speaker Rob Vescovo (R-Arnold) credits Representative Eggleston’s work.

While Democrats are outnumbered 113-49 in the Missouri House, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield) says her caucus had multiple wins during the 2021 session. She tells Capitol reporters that Democrats played a key role in helping to pass bills like Wayfair.

“Missouri finally joined the rest of the country and passed the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). We leveled the playing field between local businesses and online retailers through Wayfair,” Quade says.

Senate Bill 153 also contains provisions on redevelopment districts and on tax increment financing (TIF).

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