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.

Senate Bill On Vehicle Sales Tax Is A Power Grab

Op-Ed by David Larson appeared in 3/12/13 Southeast Missourian:

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

Why did the Senate pass this bill?

Quotes from several elected officials, business organizations and car dealers in a Southeast Missourian article titled “Sales tax fallout hits dealers, others” said 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 a centralized government. Being “fair” to car dealers in Missouri can encourage centralization of all markets 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 their taxing authority. The senators want to dictate to local officials how to run their communities. This is a huge usurpation of power by the state.

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. Citizens and local governments determine the limits on rights and duties of each other.

More Here… http://www.semissourian.com/story/1948831.html

Blunt’s Turn

It’s an apropos blog title today because every other representative of Cape County’s Tea Party members has been the topic of this week’s blogging AND it describes a serious turn towards liberalism and big government by Missouri’s freshman Senator.

h/t aolcdn.com

I couldn’t believe when an article came across my Internet Wires reporting that Roy Blunt was the Co-Sponsor of a new bill to enforce sales tax collection on Internet Purchases.

From Brian R. Hook…

The Marketplace Fairness Act would close what the Republican from southwest Missouri describes as a tax loophole, leveling the playing field between local and online retailers.

The Marketplace Fairness Act:  I don’t think anything could sound more Obama-esque!

At 7:00am on Friday 11/11/11, Jamie Allman of St. Louis’ KFTK 97.1 was scheduled to interview Blunt.  I fired off an e-mail to Jamie requesting that the Marketplace Fairness Act be a topic of discussion.

Here are a couple of statements from Mr. Blunt before the tax fairness discussion:

Are we going to be the United States of Europe; or are we going to be who we want to be…

The president’s view of this is clearly different than mine…

…We have to make a different decision; get our spending under control; get our programs under control.

What have we learned from [list of countries]…and other European countries? If your government gets bigger than you economy can support, it creates a huge, and maybe even unsolvable, problem.

Are we going to be the United States of America – where opportunity is the goal – rather than just sort of an equal division of everything that’s out there to divide.

Well, apparently, Mr. Blunt thinks that, here in America, we’re not collecting enough taxes… …and that’s just unfair. Here is the pertinent part of the discussion

Jamie: ~~Sales Tax. Is it Controversial?

Blunt: It is a little controversial; I’m for it; I’ve always been for it. What that would do would be to create a pattern where states could participate; they’d have to make the choice to opt in where the merchant who does $500 million of business over the internet would have to collect the sales tax when they do that business.

Wrong Mr. Blunt; your bill taxes SMALL business that sell $500,000 worth of goods – not $500 million

Blunt: It’s a fairness thing; it’s a fair tax equity thing. The local merchant who’s trying to be there on the Main street on the corner not even far from here or across the street from here… their products all have that – whatever it is where they live – that 5 or 6 or 7%.

Jamie: Yeah they’ve got to pay it.

Blunt: And if you get that mailed to you, you’re not paying that tax right now; though actually technically, under most state laws, including ours, you’re supposed to then voluntarily send the sales tax to the state. And, of course, we know what happens with that.

Jamie: Right

Blunt: So this is not “Taxing the Internet”. This is saying that if you buy things on the internet, you pay a tax, the same tax you’d pay if you bought it from the grocery store across the street.

Jamie: And here’s the issue, I think, for some people if they’re against this. Let’s put it this way. Let’s have no sales tax at all. But if you’re going to have a sales tax; everybody ought to be sharing that burden in terms… there’s no reason an internet company from California ought to be at a competitive advantage over a company right here in MO.

Blunt: That’s right. If you don’t pay that – your share of the tax – who takes care of the sidewalk in front of your house? Who takes care of the police department or whoever else is dependent on that tax? And so, this is a tax fairness…. I think for years, it’s been confused with the government trying to manage or tax use of the internet – which I’m not for. Now this is just saying, if you buy on the internet – and this is much less complicated all the time too ya know – if your GPS can hone in on a picture of every address in America, they can pretty closely figure out exactly what the sales tax would be for that address with a not-very-complicated program. You apply that program; send the money to the states; the states figure out how to distribute it in the fairest possible way.

Mr. Blunt, which side are you on?  The keep the government as small as possible side?  Or, the let’s make a giant sales tax collection bureaucracy side?  In your discussion with Jamie this morning, you came down on both sides.

But, considering I am a proponent of abolishing the 16th Amendment in lieu of all taxation via Consumption Taxes, I don’t disagree that we need to be able to apply taxation to the final (first) purchase of an item or service.

However, as Mr. Blunt surely knows, we don’t have a taxing problem in the U.S. right now, WE HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM.  He is clearly not paying attention to his constituents or holding to his word when he co-sponsors a bill that provides an increase in revenue to the Government.  No matter what kind of spin he tries to put on it, if I’m paying $10 of taxes to the government, and he puts through a bill that makes it become $11 worth of taxes… …IT’S A TAX INCREASE!!

And Mr. Blunt, it seems you are tone deaf to the regulations already stifling America’s small businesses AND to the millions of Americans that are unemployed or underemployed.  A new regulation to require such businesses to track this level of detail taxation will require new, costly and unproductive accounting activity within their firms.  And the customers will suddenly be paying 7% more (let’s call it 7% inflation) for the goods and services they spend time and effort locating for the best possible price.

Yes, Mr. Blunt, it’s your turn… …your turn to be the topic of this blog; your turn towards bigger government; your turn towards ignoring your word on taxation; your turn towards ignoring that unemployed / underemployed don’t need a 7% increase in their purchase cost; your turn to sound like Obama and his doctrine of Fairness.

Now is NOT the time for big government and more taxes.  IT’S THE SPENDING, STUPID!!