The cities of Osage Beach and Lake Ozark continue their support of Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of several Missouri Senate tax cut bills they believe could dramatically reduce the amount of sales tax collected each year.
The cities of Osage Beach and Lake Ozark continue their support of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of several Missouri Senate tax cut bills they believe could dramatically reduce the amount of sales tax collected each year.
The Osage Beach Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a resolution Thursday, June 19 supporting the governor’s vetoes, and Lake Ozark Aldermen were set to do the same at their meeting Tuesday, June 24. The resolutions are virtually identical, and will be sent to the governor’s office, the Missouri Municipal League and legislators.
“I’m disappointed that Rocky (District 124 State Representative) isn’t here tonight,” Osage Beach Alderman Ron Schmitt said. “He was at the Lake Ozark meeting recently saying how little impact the bills would have on Lake Ozark revenue.”
Alderman Kevin Rucker was equally dismayed.
“I’m fed up with the legislature sticking its nose in municipal business,” he said. “We have no choice but to send the resolution.”
Alderman John Olivarri said he attended a recent Tri-County Lodging Association meeting during which a legislative representative said the TCLA could lose between 3 and 3½ percent of revenue if the legislature overrides Nixon’s vetoes.
“This makes absolutely no sense,” Olivarri said. “How could they (legislators) cut their own budget? It’s really, really sad. This is the second time they’ve stepped on the necks of cities.”
(Olivarri was referring to legislative action that severely restricts a city’s ability to regulate cell towers.)
Lake Ozark City Administrator Dave Van Dee told his board last month that any reduction in tax revenue could seriously impact the city’s ability to meet its needs.
The fate of the tax-cut bills is once again in the legislators’ hands.
Governor Nixon called the bills “secret sweetheart deals” that were not part of the fiscal year 2015 budget.
The Legislature can override vetoes during a September session with a two-thirds majority in each chamber voting to override.
The bills, many of which were passed on the last day of the session, would:
•Provide tax breaks to data storage and processing businesses
•Provide an exemption for the energy and equipment used in electric distribution
•Modify the application of state and local sales taxes on admissions to recreation and amusement venues
•Create a local sales tax exemption for vehicles 10 years and older.
•Require the Department of Revenue to notify sellers if there has been a change in the interpretation of sales tax laws that modify which items are taxable. If the DOR fails to notify a seller of any change, the seller will not be liable for the additional taxes to be collected until the seller is notified.
•Give a state and local sales tax exemption for commercial laundries.
Based on Department of Revenue estimates, Osage Beach could lose up to $1.14 million in sales tax revenue if the bills become law. The city of Lake Ozark stands to lose $310,000.
“Even a fiscal impact only one half as severe as predicted will still have a harmful impact on the city’s ability to provide services our citizens need and reasonably expect,” the resolution said.
It says that the bills would have a “devastating” impact on Missouri cities and would “significantly diminish” municipal sales tax revenues that cities use to fund police, ambulance and parks services, according to the resolution.
Also according to the resolution, the bills also would shift financial burdens to other taxpayers and would favor one type of commerce over others in a “patchwork quilt of tax incentives.”