NPR Story
8:36 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Nixon Vetoes Vehicle Sales Tax Bill

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 6:48 pm

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill which would have levied sales taxes on out-of-state auto, boat and other vehicle purchases. 

The Governor vetoed a similar bill in May of last year.

Friday's action marks the second time in two years he has rejected the Legislature's attempt to reverse the effect of a 2012 Supreme Court ruling.

The court ruled that local sales taxes can only be charged on vehicles bought from Missouri retailers. If cities and counties want to tax vehicles bought elsewhere, the court said they need to adopt local "use taxes."

The legislation vetoed by Nixon sought to get around that ruling by tying local sales taxes to the titling of vehicles. Local voters would have had a chance to repeal the taxes by 2016.

Karen Buschmann with the Missouri Chamber says they’re surprised that the measure was vetoed again.

“Had we known of his reservations, we would have worked with lawmakers to address his concerns before the legislation was sent to his desk for (his) signature," Buschmann said.  "Fortunately there’s still enough time to pass an alternate bill, or amend this to another existing bill.”

The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City), says he's both surprised and "disheartened" by the Governor's veto, and that he will try again to get the bill passed before the legislative session ends next month.  In his veto letter, Nixon says this year’s bill was better than last year’s, but that the tax repeal section still contained flaws.

Follow Kelsey Proud and Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @KelseyProud @MarshallGReport

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