Vehicle sales tax issue added to license bill

State senators seeking to undo a January Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday added their plan to a House bill aimed at making Missouri’s temporary license plates more tamper-proof.

“This (Supreme Court) case stated that local sales taxes are inapplicable for out-of-state purchases of motor vehicles, trailers, etcetera,” Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, told colleagues Wednesday morning.

“This judicial opinion, as it relates to the collection of local sales taxes, has enabled a competitive disadvantage to exist for our small businesses, our small car dealerships that sell vehicles in the state of Missouri.”

The court’s unanimous ruling Jan. 31 actually affected “use” tax collections only in counties that haven’t authorized them.

Sales taxes are imposed on retail businesses, the court noted, while use taxes “are imposed on out-of-state purchases of tangible personal property by Missouri residents using the property within the state (and) are complementary to sales taxes in that they minimize the incentive to purchase from out-of-state sellers by equalizing the tax burden on intrastate and interstate transactions.”

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