Springfield, MO

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State Realtors oppose fair tax proposal

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On behalf of its 18,000 members, the Missouri Association of Realtors is formally opposing a hotly debated proposal to adjust the state’s income and sales tax structures.

Commonly called a “fair tax,” the proposal would phase out individual income tax, and replace corporate income tax, corporation and bank franchise taxes, and state sales and use tax with a sales tax of up to 7 percent on retail sales of new tangible personal property and taxable services, according to the House of Representatives bill co-sponsored by Springfield Rep. Eric Burlison.

On June 24, the Realtors’ board of directors released a statement outlining its position: “All proposed versions of the so-called ‘fair tax’ would mandate new, higher sales taxes on countless transactions and services (used) every day. This includes sales of homes and business properties – transactions that 83.7 percent of Missouri voters declared in last November’s election should not be subject to sales tax.”

In its approved motion, the board cited citizens’ support in November of Amendment 3, which barred sales taxes on homes and business property.

Supporters of the bill, House Joint Resolution 8, say the revenue-neutral changes would tax consumption rather than prosperity, create jobs through a business-friendly environment and lower the cost of doing business in Missouri. Supporters – including MoFairTax Inc., United for Missouri and Missouri Republican Liberty Caucus – argue that businesses add the cost of taxes to their product pricing or relocate to a lower taxing state.

Opponents say the tax changes could bankrupt the state and the middle class, have not been tried anywhere to date and could produce unintended consequences by shifting the tax burden to the poor and lower middle class, cutting funding for state services, and threatening funding for public K-12 and higher education. Opponents include Missouri Budget Project, Missouri Retailers Association, Missouri Municipal League, Missouri Society of Accountants and Missouri Hospital Association.

The Realtors association is backing Missourians for Fair Taxation, a statewide coalition building opposition to the tax changes.[[In-content Ad]]


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