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.

Is SB207 A Tax Increase?

Americans for Prosperity sent an e-mail wondering if we citizens viewed SB 207 as a Tax Increase.

AFP SB 207 Request - 20120206

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The Bill Summary reads as follows:

SB 207 – Currently, gas corporations may file a petition with the Public Service Commission for rate adjustments to recover costs incurred for infrastructure replacement projects. This act allows electrical corporations to follow a similar precess to recover costs for infrastructure replacement projects. The types of costs that can be recovered include certain work on electric plants, certain capital projects undertaken to comply with environmental or safety regulations, and costs of facilities relocation due to public works projects.  This act requires the Public Service Commission to track the differences between certain capitalized and non-capitalized labor costs of electric corporations. Electric corporations may record these labor costs as regulatory assets or liabilities and amortize them over a period of three years for consideration in rate proceedings. In subsequent rate proceedings, unamortized balances of such regulatory assets or liabilities shall be amortized over three years.

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One of our CCTP members, David Epps, provided the great response below:

Yes I consider this bill as a tax increase!

Basically, the bill is asking Missourians to pay for federal unfunded mandates specifically , quoted from the bill “generating plants and their components, and cyber-security, customer service, and smart grid investments”.

New Generating plants to meet federal EPA carbon emissions (AKA global warming remediation) and smart grid are a totally unnecessary means to reduce power consumption and stress on the electrical distribution grid… …AND… …how is Customer Service a capital expense anyway?

This is just another of the means the environmentalists have come up with to pay for their boondoggles and is as stupid as feed in tarriffs where everybody subsidizes those few that choose to install electric solar cells on their homes and/or businesses. You have got to ask yourself why after all these years of the existence of the PSC changes are needed now.

All of this is lunacy. We have natural gas sufficient to power our automobiles and using ground source heat pumps we can significantly reduce electrical consumption. The elecric cooporatives have for years offered rebates for the installation of ground source heat pumps as a less expensive alternative to stringing more wires. Switching to natural gas for automobiles would reduce carbon emissions more than replacing every generating plant in the country at a 10th of the cost.

And we did all this before between 1980 and 1983: The graph clearly shows what occurred to cause the reduction of oil imports. It was the mass conversion of fuel oil furnaces to natural gas furnaces and the conversion of gasoline vehicles to propane. Both Energy sources were Made in the USA.then and still is to this day.

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The US NG/PROPANE/E85 Vehicle and GSHP Energy Policy and Economic Recovery Plan

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  1. Low cost NG/E85/PROPANE conversions for existing 244M US fleet of cars, NOW!
  2. Replacing old, worn out, inefficient home and business NG/PROPANE furnaces with 450% efficient electric GSHP NOW!
  3. Replacing old, worn out, inefficient home and business resistive electric furnaces with 450% efficient electric GSHP NOW!
  4. GSHP in the summer reduce electrical consumption by 50% over a 8 SEER air conditioner and thus NG/PROPANE electrical consumption is reduced.
  5. GSHP in the winter reduce electrical consumption by 75% over a electric resistive heater and thus NG electrical consumption is reduced.
  6. GSHP in the winter eliminates NG/PROPANE consumption by 100% but winter electrical consumption is increased slightly.
  7. NG in todays market is cheaper than imported oil and GSHP reduces electrical consumption.
  8. GSHP ground loops have useful life of 40 years and
  9. NGV CO2 is reduced by 25% over gasoline
  10. CO2 is reduced proportionally to electrical consumption reductions using GSHP’s and renewable geothermal energy

Eliminating NG/PROPANE for home heat and reducing NG produced electricity consumption we can put it in our cars and will have little effect on the other uses for natural gas and actually there is some left over for growth in those industries and agriculture (assumes current consumption and supply) GSHP harvest renewable geothermal energy.

This all can be accomplished by

  1. local mechanics,
  2. local geothermal GSHP installers,
  3. local ground loop drillers and trenchers.
  4. US industry, as 95% of the components for NG conversions and GSHP’s and ground loop pipe are made in the USA
  5. Putting money in the pockets of We the People with local jobs and much lower family energy costs.

Eliminate one EPA regulation: the certification of natural gas vehicle (NGV) retrofit kits.A conversion kit MLO is $2500 but with the EPA certification it costs $15,000 and there would be no need for new power plants or smart grid.

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Thanks David!