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story.lead_photo.caption Sen. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, leans over to talk to Sen. Brian Williams, D-St. Louis, on Wednesday during a veto session at the Capitol. Photo by Sally Ince / News Tribune.

The Missouri Senate's Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed House Bill 1 on Thursday, meaning the special session of the Legislature was one step closer to resolving the issue Gov. Mike Parson called it to fix.

The state's House of Representatives passed the bill Wednesday, which is intended to clear up Missouri law to allow people to earn sales tax credit on multiple vehicles.

Parson called for the special session in August, responding to the state Supreme Court's decision to let a St. Louis County resident take sales tax credit on only one vehicle.

St. Louis County resident David Kehlenbrink had sold a Ford truck and a Kawasaki motorcycle, and went to a license office to get his new Dodge pickup titled. The office gave Kehlenbrink credit for the other vehicles, but he was later denied credit by the Missouri Department of Revenue on two more vehicles he sold.

An administrative hearing commission ruled in Kehlenbrink's favor, which Zachary Wyatt-Gomez said Thursday during the Senate committee hearing was inconsistent with previous rulings that did allow sales tax credit to be claimed on multiple vehicles, but only at the time of titling, and not within 180 days.

Wyatt-Gomez is interim legislative director of the Department of Revenue.

The Department of Revenue appealed the ruling that was in Kehlenbrink's favor, and the Supreme Court's ruling in June in the case was even narrower — that only the sale of one vehicle could be applied as credit against the purchase of another.

The ruling also affected boats, outboard motors and trailers.

HB1 expands the sales tax deduction to multiple traded-in vehicles, trailers, boats or outboard motors, within 180 days of sale.

Wyatt-Gomez said the Department of Revenue has been allowing for credit on multiple vehicles within 180 days since July 2018.

The Department of Revenue spoke in favor of the bill before the Senate's Ways and Means Committee, where the bill was presented Thursday by sponsor Rep. Becky Ruth, D-Festus.

Ken Zellers, acting Revenue Director, said the proposed law would provide the clarity the department needs to be consistently compliant on vehicle titling and taxes.

Representatives of the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, Big Thunder Marine boat dealer at the Lake of the Ozarks and Missouri Society of CPAs also testified in support of the bill.

No one testified in opposition to the bill.

The Senate adjourned until 9 a.m. today.

Parson plans to have a news conference on the outcome of special session this afternoon, where David and Jill Kehlenbrink and their son, Scott Kehlenbrink, will be present.

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