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MO Supreme Court: Bowling Shoe Rentals Are Taxable

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that renting bowling shoes is taxable.

Tropicana Lanes, in Richmond Heights, was trying to get a refund of almost $24,000 from the state. That's the money it had calculated as sales tax for renting shoes out, but the bowling alley argued it had already paid sales tax when first buying the shoes.

After the Department of Revenue rejected the refund, the case went to the state's High Court, which said Missouri law currently allows the state to tax fees paid in "places of amusement, entertainment or recreation, games and athletic events, regardless of whether the fee is strictly for amusement activities."

Justice Steven Limbaugh dissented, noting the plight of golf carts. Carts are pieces of rental equipment used at places of amusement that are exempt from sales taxes, he noted. Bowling shoes are another piece of rental equipment, he said, which should also enjoy the exemption.

To read the opinion from the Missouri Supreme Court, click here.