The Senate could approve next week a sweeping tax relief bill, but it could prove very costly to the state of Missouri. Senate Bill 131 received initial approval on Wednesday, which proposes to exempt sales taxes on guns and ammunition, food, diapers, and feminine products, in addition to including affordable housing tax credits. Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden says there’s a fiscal oversight committee for a reason.
“Which is to make sure that the overlap of those things don’t put us dramatically in a negative position going forward,” cautions Rowden. “Senator Eigel’s property tax bill is in fiscal oversight now. It’s got a large fiscal note. A lot of that is local money. There’s a lot of good things, getting rid of the sales tax on groceries, I think, is something a lot of us would like to do. That comes at a tremendous cost to the state.”
The bill started out as a tax relief to guns and ammunition, but a plethora of amendments tacked on several other items to it during debate on Wednesday, which has some conservatives a bit nervous due to how much that could cost.
The bloated bill has some Senators questioning the motives of the opposing party, like Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo.
“Democrats are focused on exempting sales tax on feminine products and diapers,” Rizzo says. “Republicans were focused on exempting sales tax for bullets and guns. The contrast is pretty clear. Democrats put families first. Republicans double down on Missouri’s gun violence epidemic.”
Senate Republican Leader Cindy O’Laughlin explained in a Thursday afternoon press conference why the legislation didn’t get voted on that day.
“I think that the bill’s sponsor (Sen. Rick Brattin) and some of the other people in the senate chamber kind of want to take a closer look at that,” O’Laughlin says. “You know how sometimes one piece of legislation can turn into a gigantic thing. He wasn’t quite ready for the third read today. I think there’s going to be more discussion about it.”
Click here for more information on SB 131.