Any tax without prior voter approval is a bad tax

For those Missourians contemplating buying or selling a motor vehicle to another person, the purchase of that vehicle just became more expensive.  On February 18, 2013 the Missouri Senate passed Senate Bill 182, a bill regarding levying a local sales tax on all motor vehicles sales.

SB 182 stops counties and municipalities from collecting a local use tax on the sale of motor vehicles, trailers, boats, or outboard motors. Instead of a use tax, local government entities will impose a local sales tax on the sale of all of the aforementioned items, regardless of whether they were purchased in Missouri. The home address of the buyer is used in determining what local tax rates apply.

The total sales tax for motor vehicles, trailers, boats, or outboard motors sold at retail is the sum of the state sales tax (4.225%) plus the local sales tax (varies according to locality). The sales tax for all non-retail sales of the preceding items is the sum of the state highway use tax (4.00%) plus the local sales tax (varies according to locality).

All counties and municipalities that did not previously approve a local use tax must put to a vote of the people whether to discontinue collecting sales tax on non-retail sales of motor vehicles. If a local government does not hold such a vote before November 2016, the taxing jurisdiction must stop collecting the sales tax. Counties or cities may at any time hold a vote to repeal the tax. Language repealing the tax must also be put to a vote of the people any time 15% of the registered voters in a taxing jurisdiction sign a petition requesting such.

Why did the Missouri Senate pass this bill?

Quotes from several state and local elected government officials, business advocacy organizations, and local car dealers in a Southeast Missourian article titled “Sales tax fallout hits dealers, others” dated February 21, 2013,  stated a “level playing field” is needed between the car dealers in Illinois and Missouri. Whenever officials allude to fairness, bad things happen. One can conclude these officials support a statist approach to concentrating economic controls in the hands of the government. Being “fair” to all car dealers in Missouri can encourage an overall centralization of economic control at the state level.

The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things. This bill violates the rights of local governments by intruding upon the taxing authority a local government has with its citizenry. The state senators want to dictate to locally elected officials of Missouri how to run their communities. This is a huge usurpation of power of the state from the counties and cities.

Each local government in Missouri has made a social contract with its citizens. The contract provides for public order, protection of property, and access to public services such as highways, roads, and sewer. The citizens and their local governments determine the limiting of rights and the duties of each other.  The Missouri Senate overstepped its authority by directing local governments to collect sales tax on the purchase of vehicles without a vote of the people at the local level. Although there is a requirement to put the measure on the ballot of counties and municipalities that did not have a use tax prior to the passage of SB 182, it is a deep-rooted “Principle of Liberty” to get voter approval before imposition of a new tax. The Senate’s action in regards to the SB 182 smacks of governing at their whim rather than by law.

Even though SB 182 has passed in the Senate, the bill must go to the House. The Senate and House need to agree to the final language of the bill before sending it to the governor for his signature. The governor can veto the bill or sign it into law. But that is not the end of it. At any time, with 15% of the registered voter in a taxing authority’s jurisdiction signing a petition to put it on a ballot, the voters can nullify the tax.

It is time we send a strong message to the Missouri Senate by directing our local elected officials and our state representatives to kill this power- grabbing bill before rather than after it becomes law.

CCTP Legislative Request Defending Against Agenda 21

By David Larson

To the Missouri State Representatives elected by citizens of Cape Girardeau County,

In a similar fashion as Alabama’s Anti-Agenda bill SB477, members of CCTP urge you to enact the legislative language below or similar legislation in an effort to protect our property, rights, and freedoms under the U.S Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution:

An Act,

Relating to due process; to prohibit the State of Missouri and its political subdivisions from adopting and developing environmental and developmental policies that, without due process, would infringe or restrict the private property rights of the owner of the property.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF MISSOURI:

Section 1.

(a) As used in this section, “political subdivisions” means all state, county, incorporated city, unincorporated city, public local entity, public-private partnership, and any other public entity of the state, a county, or city.

(b) The State of Missouri and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to “Agenda 21,” adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Missouri.

(c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Missouri and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or receiving financial aid from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.

Section 2. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

Missouri FY 2013 Budget Summary

Thanks to Donna Lichtenegger for forwarding summary information on Governor Nixon’s proposed 2013 budget below:

h/t mo.govEconomists are generally predicting a slow but steady recovery for the U.S. economy which is still struggling with unemployment at 8.5%. There is a positive sign with the four-week moving average of weekly initial unemployment claims falling and stabilizing below 400,000 since November. Missouri is fairing slightly better than the national economy with unemployment currently at 8.0%. Certainly this is an improvement when compared to the record unemployment of 9.6% a year ago.

With this in mind, forecasting state revenues for Missouri’s upcoming fiscal year has been challenging. The revised Consensus Revenue Estimate (CRE) for the current FY2012 is 2.7% or $7.301 billion Net General Revenue (GR) collections. The CRE agreed to by the House, Senate and the Governor for FY2013 is for GR to grow at a less than average rate of 3.9%. This would result in Net GR collections of $7.586 billion. This amount would return tax collections available for the budget to slightly above the actual collections for FY2009. The CRE for FY2013 would provide an increase in net collections of $285 million above the original CRE that use used to craft the FY2012 budget.

However, the FY2012 budget also has more than $500 million of one-time Federal Budget Stabilization Funds that are supporting current programs, including the K 1-12 School Foundation Formula. These funds will not be available for the FY2013 budget. In addition, there are a number of mandatory increases in FY2013 which will require the commitment of GR funds such as the need for a $90 million increase in the state’s match rate for our Medicaid program.

The Governor’s proposed budget includes: carrying over funds, reductions, eliminations, cost containments, administrative savings, debt refinancing, generation of additional revenues from debt collections, other revenue efficiencies, increased Gaming fees and a tax amnesty plan. Approximately $88.7million of these enhanced revenue proposals will require additions and/or changes to current state statutes.

The Governor’s FY2013 budget is balanced through the following components:

  • $191.7 million savings through efficiencies and reallocations in the Medicaid program
  • $89.0 million reduction for 4-year higher education institutions. This is a 14% decrease from the appropriations for FY2012
  • $64.3 million in additional debt collections and other revenue efficiencies
  • $51.8 million increase from a tax amnesty plan
  • $41.0 million savings through debt restructuring
  • $29.3 million in reduced staff and administrative costs in state agencies
  • $16.9 million reduction for community and technical colleges, also a 14% decrease from the appropriations for FY2012
  • $15.0 million in additional lottery revenue through advertising and other Lottery Commission initiatives
  • $7.0 million reduction in biodiesel subsidy payments
  • $2.0 million reduction in local public health agency grants

Items that are prioritized in the Governor’s FY2013 budget include:

  • $3.009 billion for the Foundation Formula, including an overall increase of $5.0 million with a General Revenue increase of $203.2 million needed in part to also offset lost Federal Budget Stabilization Funds
  • $99.8 million to provide funding for K-12 transportation at the same level allowed after the Governor’s $8.0 million expenditure restriction in FY2012 appropriation
  • $105.5 million to maintain available funding for the A+, Bright Flight, and Access MO Scholarship Programs, including a general revenue increase of $25.0 million to partially offset the loss of MOHELA funds
  • $23.6 million for a 2% salary increase for state employees, effective January 1, 2013
  • $14.9 million to maintain funding for the Customized Jobs Training Program
  • $4.0 million for innovations in science and technology as authorized in the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act
  • $31.0 million of increased gaming fees to provide a more stable revenue source for the state’s seven veteran’s homes

MOSIRA: Still Waiting For Reply

On October 8, 2011, I sent the following e-mail to the Missouri Legislature representatives of Cape Girardeau County as well as to the Cape County Tea Party Members:

Greetings to CCTP and to our local MO Representatives!

Attached is a document (here) prepared by a MO Constitutional Lawyer named Ron Calzone in response the passage of the MOSIRA bill in Special Session.  Ron runs a web site mofirst.org.

I am far from an expert on constitutional issues and Missouri Law, but assuming he’s correct, I have a request for our local Senate and House Representatives that receive this e-mail and voted FOR this legislation.

I would ask that in direct reply to this e-mail, or in your weekly Capitol Reports, that you:

  • Discuss why you voted FOR this legislation
  • Refute the unconstitutionality claims made by Mr. Calzone
  • Refute the claim that the legislation allows public funding for embryonic stem cell research and human cloning

I suspect other Libertarians and Conservatives, like me, believe picking winners and losers with our tax dollars is nothing more than crony capitalism and a perversion of the Missouri Constitution.

Thank You!
Brian Bollmann

For the record, the House Members that represent Cape County voted as follows:

  • 157 Donna Lichtenegger – Yea
  • 158 Wayne Wallingford – Nay
  • 159 Billy Pat Wright – Yea
  • 160 Ellen Brandom – Yea

As best I can tell, the Missouri Senate used a voice vote on SB7 and Senator Crowell’s vote is not recorded in the public record.  Pursuant to the e-mail above, I asked him separately about his vote.

Senator Crowell,

It appears that SB7 (MOSIRA) was a voice vote in the Senate?  I assume that means there is no record anywhere?

How did you vote?

As a Missouri resident and voter, I’m disappointed that the people I hire to act on my behalf in the Missouri Legislature would ever be allowed to act (vote) without my ability to review how they acted (voted).  Each vote must be recorded to allow constituents to properly evaluate the performance of their representatives.

The point I am getting to is…

No one on this list of representatives has replied in any way to my request.

If one of the representatives has addressed my questions in their Capitol Report, I’d be glad to attach that reply to this posting.

To that end, I ask you to consider contacting your representative to explain why they voted for taking your tax dollars and giving them to corporations – picking winners and losers by enslaving you to labor for their efforts.

See the Rep Contact Info page on this site for contact information

Missouri Presidential Caucus

UPDATE:

The following question was asked and answered:

How come the March 17 caucus date is not on the election calendar?

The calendar is for election dates that are set in the statutes. The caucus dates are set by the political party and are party run.

We received the following question, among others, regarding a Missouri Caucus versus a Missouri Primary at the Cape County Tea Party (CCTP):

[D]o you have any legal sources who could advise on what effect, if any, the move to the caucus system will have on primary contests below the Presidential level?  Does this mean that other state and federal offices will also have primary contests settled in the caucuses?  That could be interesting.

We sent out a request for information to the member of the CCTP and received very informative responses:

Jason Crowell (Tuesday October 11, 2011)

In my opinion it is being done so the establishment GOP can have more control over the process and the people… ….and of course raise filing fees from 1,000 to 10,000 dollars.

Jason Crowell (Thursday October 13, 2011)

I don’t want to be a caucus state. I am opposed to that. Missouri’s primary has been in February; it was 4 years ago, and in my opinion [should] remain there. Just because the national RNC wants us to do as they say is no reason to change. Especially when other states like Florida, Nevada and Arizona to name just a few refuse to bow to party establishment rules. Lloyd Smith is wrong and just being the establishment’s pet boy so he can stay in a nicer hotel room in Miami. I will not put Missouri second to national RNC rules that make no since; others states won’t follow and put Missouri into a second class status in selecting a president.

Jason Crowell (Friday October 14, 2011)

There was no vote on having Missouri Caucus for the primary election – that was done unilaterally by the Missouri Republican Party and Mr. Lloyd Smith – I oppose the caucus.

As for if we can rescind the decision; I have no power to do so – the republican party of Missouri has said that it is more important to it that the RNC rules are followed than giving Missouri a voice.  The Republican party and, specifically, Mr. Lloyd Smith has said that no matter what in order to ensure that national party boss demands on timing of a Missouri election are followed instead of Missourians voices heard on the matter he and it will not follow the results of the election even if it is held.

How you like that?

Patrick Werner (Monday, October 24, 2011)

The other state and federal races in MO will have their normal primary schedule in Aug separate from how the presidential primary is conducted.

Donna Lichtenegger (Monday, October 24, 2011)

About 10 yrs ago, we had an election that voted in the primaries. We felt that this would encourage more people to be involved in the process. Interestingly enough; many County Clerks have told me that the elections only brought out about 12-13% of the voters. That’s basically the same as when we did Caucus. So although it sounds like we are losing our voice, we really aren’t. If you are a registered Rep or Dem you can go to that caucus in your county on March 17. I you or anyone else would like me to come and speak on this issue I would be happy to do so. This caucus system is ONLY for Presidential –  not any other races. Also, the caucus place and time will be posted in the newspaper and hopefully on the radio news. Hope this info; although brief; is helpful.

Joseph V. Merkler (Monday, October 24, 2011)

Missouri [had] just become a primary state within the last few years. In 1996, I was an alternate delegate to the convention in Springfield, MO. The caucus system was how I became involved in politics. I learned how it works — whoever can get the most people to show up in favor of one candidate or another can control who will get the party nomination. 

Jason Crowell (Monday, October 24, 2011)

The decision to use a caucus this year for the Presidential Primary should not have any effect on other elections.  Missouri Revised Statute Section 115.339 requires candidates for elective office to be nominated at the primary election.  Since the office of the President is not elected by popular vote as state officials and representatives in Congress are, the parties retain control over how its delegates are chosen for that office.  As such, using a caucus instead of a primary for the state and federal offices would probably not constitute a popular vote for those offices and violate both the U.S. Constitution (with respect to federal offices) and state law (with respect to candidates for elective state offices).

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

 

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