Legislature Adjourns for Spring Break
Many important issues remained unresolved as the members of the 100th General Assembly left for home on March 14 for their week-long spring break. When legislators return to Jefferson City on March 25, they begin floor debate on the state budget, leaving less time to work on legislation important to special interests.
The Legislative spring break is an excellent time for municipal officials to contact their state legislators while they are back home in their districts. Please take this opportunity to let your state senator and representative know how specific pieces of legislation will impact your community.
Capturing Tax Revenue from Out-of-State Sellers
On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Local Government held an executive session on SB 189 relating to Internet use tax. A Senate Committee Substitute was adopted that adds marketplace facilitator language and removes the 200-transaction threshold. After a brief discussion, the committee voted the bill “do pass” by a vote of 6-1 with Senator Scott Sifton (D-St. Louis) casting the only opposing vote. The House companion bill, HB 701, sponsored by Representative Bill Falkner (R-St. Joseph), will be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, March 27th, 2019, at 8a.m.
Local Sales Tax Cap
The Senate Committee on Government Reform held a hearing on SB 149 on Tuesday morning. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Andrew Koenig (R-Manchester), seeks to cap local sales tax rates at 7.275 percent. During his presentation of the bill, the sponsor said that he is not tied to that number and is willing to negotiate. He also said that he likes the new language inHB 374,that simply requires that the current local tax be listed on any ballot measure proposing a tax increase. Transient guest taxes are not included in this legislation. Associated Industries of Missouri spoke in favor of the bill. Speaking against the proposal were the Missouri Municipal League, City of Kansas City, and the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis.
Local Sales Tax Ballot Language
On Tuesday afternoon, the House perfected HCS HB 374, sponsored by Representative Phil Christofanelli (R-St. Peters). This bill requires that after Aug. 28, 2019, any political subdivision imposing a sales tax increase that requires voter approval to place the following information on every ballot associated with the proposed increase: (1) The highest cumulative sales tax rate within the political subdivision if the sales tax increase is enacted; (2) The lowest cumulative sales tax rate within the political subdivision if the increase is enacted; and (3) The average cumulative sales tax rate within the political subdivision if the increase is enacted. The average cumulative sales tax rate must be calculated by adding together the cumulative sales tax rates of every distinct taxing district within the political subdivision and dividing that sum by the total number of distinct taxing districts within the political subdivision. ( MML Neutral)
Motor Fuel Tax Increase
The Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee convened on Thursday to discuss SB 430, sponsored by Senator Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff). The bill increases the motor fuel tax from $0.17 per gallon to $0.23 per gallon, using a gradual two-cent per gallon increase over a three-year period. The Missouri Municipal League, the Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Transportation Development Council, Associated Industries of Missouri, Missouri Petroleum Marketers Convenience Stores Association, Greater KC Chamber of Commerce, Construction Employers Coalition, Missouri Concrete Association, South City Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Soy Bean Association, Regional Strategies, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Limestone Association, Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Association of Contractors of Missouri, Empower Missouri, allprovided supporting testimony. No opposing testimony was provided. (MML Supports)
Preemption of Municipal Dog Regulations
The House Special Committee on Urban Issues met in executive session Wednesday evening to consider HB 297,sponsored by Representative Ron Hicks (R-Dardenne Prairie). The bill prohibits municipalities from regulating dogs based on their breed. During discussions, substitute language was adopted relating to negligent dog owners. Once modified, the bill was passed 7-0. (MML Opposes)
Failure to Appear
SB 207, sponsored by Senator Emery (R-Lamar),allows any city or village to establish, by ordinance, an administrative adjudication system for minor traffic violations, nuisanceand zoning municipal code violations. For the defendants who are served with a summons but refuse to appear, a default judgement could be issued by the law judge and the case would be concluded.This bill rectifies anunintended consequencecreated by SB 5 (2015) and SB 572 (2016) that removed the penalty for missing scheduled municipal court hearings. A Senate Committee Substitute was voted out of the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee on March 6 and is currently awaiting placement on the Senate perfection calendar. (MML Supports)
Video Franchise Fee
SB 273 sponsored by Senator Emery (R-Lamar), beginning Jan. 1, 2021, every provider of video service willremit a 3 percent fee to the Missouri Department of Revenue. 100 percent of the 2019 Video Service Provider Fee Base shall be allocated and distributed among each franchise entity that imposed a video service provider fee on or before Jan.1, 2019. All remaining funds shall be transferred to the Rural Broadband Fund established by the act to expand access to broadband internet service in unserved and under-servedareas of the state. Due to significant opposition, the sponsor has placed a hold on this bill. (MML Opposes portions of the bill)
911 Emergency Communications
SB 291 sponsored by Senator Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau), clarifies the taxing structure for communities that opt into 911 services. The bill was third read and sent to the House by a vote of 27-6. (MML Supports)
Municipal Court Automation
SB 392 Sponsored by Senator Paul Wieland (R-Imperial), allows for municipal courts to select and operate a case management system. Hearing conducted in the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on
March 4. No further action to date. (MML Supports)
Stop Socialism Act
SB 122 Sponsored by Senator Eric Burlison (R-Springfield), establishes the Stop Socialism Act and creates a cause of action against a public body that provides, or offers to provide, a competitive service that is also provided by a private citizen within the jurisdiction of the public body. A Senate Committee Substitute was voted out of the Senate General Laws Committee with a “Do Pass “recommendation on March 5. (MML Oppose)
HB 856 Sponsored by Representative Dirk Deaton (R- Noel), a bill similar to SB 122 was voted out of the House Downsizing State Government Committee with a “Do Pass” recommendation on March 4. (MML Oppose)