Senate reaches compromise to pass tax relief bills

April 13, 2023

Senate reaches compromise to pass tax relief bills


Missouri news network

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate passed two separate tax relief bills Thursday as part of a bipartisan compromise effort to get tax relief to Missouri families.

SB 143 sponsored by Sen. Doug Beck, D-Affton, is a combination of tax credits and exemptions pushed for by Democrats. The bill raises the tax credit limit for food pantry donations, exempts diapers and feminine hygiene products from sales tax and gives tax credits for consumers buying groceries in food deserts.

SB 131 is sponsored by Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville. The bill removes state and local sales tax on firearms and ammunition. The bill also offers a state tax credit to sellers of firearms and ammunition equal to the federal tax on the sale of those items.

Both bills received bipartisan support and votes as part of the Senate’s compromise.

“I voted for both. There are a fair number of people who voted for both,” said President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia.

Democrats have been trying to pass a larger grocery tax relief bill but have been blocked by Republicans.

“I think you have two sides that wanted to get something ... We decided to give a path for sales tax exemption for diapers and period products and food deserts, and they decided to give a pass to no sales tax on guns and ammo,” said Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence.

The firearms and ammunition tax bill received no support from Democrats, but they agreed to allow final passage without debate from their side. Debate is at times used as a tactic to block or delay votes on legislation.

“Sometimes you got to create a path to let them get something and that’s what they chose. We chose to help Missouri families,” Rizzo said.

The only challenge to the ammunition bill was Sen. Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit, who said he would be voting against the bill because he did not see the exemption for gun sellers helped Missouri consumers.

Both bills now move to the House where tax relief bills have seen strong support this session.

Sports Gambling

Leadership on both sides of the Senate continued to express concern about the prospect of sports gambling passing this session.

Rizzo said that the Republican party platform being against gambling does not help with passing the bill in the Senate.

When asked about the odds of sports betting passing, Rowden said they were not good.

The Senate’s sports gambling bill saw the floor Wednesday but was immediately slowed by amendments and challenges on the floor led by Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg.

Hoskin’s push for an amendment regulating video lottery terminals was voted down. While that might have been expected to have pushed the bill forward, leadership sees it as more of a clarification of where the chamber stands.

“We didn’t get to take a vote on VLTs in the last couple of years, so at least it was a clarification of this, for this particular group of 34, that they’d rather see sports betting and VLT separate,” Rowden said.