COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers should move forward with plans to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of an auto sales tax measure, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Dave Spence said Tuesday.
Earlier this year, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled communities couldn’t levy sales tax on out-of-state vehicle purchases. The General Assembly approved a bill reversing the decision in the legislative session’s final week, but Nixon vetoed it, saying it amounted to a new tax without a public vote.
Lawmakers will return to the state Capitol next month to consider overriding Nixon’s veto. On Monday, the governor warned that doing so would mean 122,000 Missourians who have purchased a vehicle out of state since the court’s ruling would receive an unexpected bill for back taxes, thanks to a clause in the bill making the sales tax renewal retroactive.
Proponents of the legislation counter that Missouri is at an economic disadvantage, since residents have a tax incentive to buy vehicles in neighboring states like Kansas.
Spence, a St. Louis businessman challenging Nixon this fall, said the governor is willing to hurt Missouri auto dealers and local governments for political gain. He's hopeful the legislature will override Nixon's veto.
“It’s not a new tax. It’s a loophole fix,” Spence said. “He’s more worried about polls and his donors than auto dealers and the counties.”
As for Nixon’s argument that it would be “unfair and punitive to retroactively tax “ 122,000 Missourians, Spence said people knew this was a possibility when they purchased a vehicle out of state.
“I can’t jump in the head of 122,000 people, but when you answer an ad from Illinois or Kansas to go over and buy a car, you know the situation,” he said.