JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Both the Missouri Republican Party and the Missouri Libertarian Party are pushing for voters to cast a yes vote on a ballot measure that would ban a sales tax on services.
The state GOP sent a letter to supporters and party members Thursday urging them to vote for Amendment 4, called the Taxpayer Protection Amendment by its proponents.
“We pay plenty of taxes now in Missouri. Whatever the question is, a new sales tax on services we all use every day is not the answer,” the letter reads. “New sales taxes on services would hit hardest against those least able to afford such new taxes: senior citizens, the disabled, people on fixed incomes and lower-and-middle income families. And that is just not right.”
In addition to the Republican Party, Missouri’s third largest political party also supports the ballot measure. The Missouri Libertarian Party has a strong anti-tax policy (they are one of few organizations in the state opposed to Amendment 1 to continue the Parks, Soils and Water Sales Tax. They feel Amendment 4 offers a “reasonable protection against certain types of future taxes.”
“As a constitutional amendment, the measure would require a vote of the people and will be more difficult to repeal,” the party says on their website.
For Scott Charton, the communications director of Missourians for Fair Taxation – the group promoting Amendment 4, support from fiscally conservative political parties could help propel the Yes campaign to a win.
“It’s great that the political party structures in the state have read Amendment 4 and they know the protection it will provide to taxpayers,” he said.
Their support may have turned what initially looked an uphill battle for the amendment. When The Missouri Times first polled the measure in early October, victory appeared elusive as the Yes campaign trailed 23-49, with 27 percent of voters remaining undecided. MO Scout also released a poll in late September with similar results.
Yet a new poll from MO Scout dated Oct. 29 showed that 45 percent to 39 percent of voters supported the measure.
Charton says that people from across the state have begun responding to the group’s message and its aggressive traditional and new media campaigns. He believes some progressives can also support the measure since it specifically forbids sales taxes, which are considered a regressive form of taxation.
“Audiences I’ve spoken to are all responding favorably, irrespective of political parties because they realize a new sales tax on services is going to be hardest on people who can least afford them,” he said. “It is a classic progressive view that you want to protect those who are the most vulnerable, and I think that’s why it has connected with people across the political spectrum.”
The Missouri Democratic Party has not taken an official position on Amendment 4 or any other statewide ballot measures.
The political support also comes as Missourians for Fair Taxation has formed a coalition of business groups and political organizations who support the measure. The full list of members of that coalition can be viewed here.