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Nixon seeks to avoid veto override on vehicle tax bill

(via Flickr/jonrawlinson)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) and the Republican-led General Assembly will face off next week over a bill vetoed earlier this year that would have required Missouri residents to pay sales taxes on vehicles purchased in other states.

The bill in question sought to reverse a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that local sales taxes cannot be levied on out-of-state vehicle purchases.  Governor Nixon says overriding the veto would result in a retroactive tax hike without a vote of the people.

"One hundred twenty-two thousand people (will be) getting a tax bill (if the override goes through)," Nixon told reporters today at his State Capitol office.  "One hundred eight thousand of those folks...are not folks who dealt with dealers, but those folks who sold cars to each other…we’re gonna have to figure out a way to go collect taxes from people who were not charged at that time.”

The State Supreme Court's ruling seemed to leave room for such taxes if voters agree to them.  Ryan Silvey(R, Kansas City) chairs the House Budget Committee and is running for State Senate.  He says the Governor’s veto would deprive municipalities of much-needed revenue for police and fire departments and harm local car dealerships.

“What we have is an incentive for Missourians to cross state lines and make a major purchase in another state," Silvey said.  "(That) is not good for the Missourians that work in our state selling cars, boats, RV’s, any of those things.”

In a letter to Governor Nixon, Silvey says he plans to file a new version of the bill, if he's elected to the Missouri Senate, that would remove some retroactive language and exempt those who've bought new vehicles in other states since the High Court's ruling.  If Silvey's not elected, he says he's been assured by State Senator Mike Kehoe(R, Jefferson City) that he will file it.

Follow St. Louis Public Radio and Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @stlpublicradio @MarshallGReport


Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.