Missouri Supreme Court rules that Rams could owe state $350k in back taxes


ST. LOUIS – If you thought Missouri was done with the Rams, think again. The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed a decision which could cost the former St. Louis football team more than $350,000.

The issue at stake was a decision by an administrative hearing commission on how much in the team collected in taxes while still playing in the Show-Me State. That commission, the Missouri Supreme Court said, erred in their decision when it found that the Rams did not have to pay sales taxes on a special entertainment license tax. The city of St. Louis, thanks to a city ordinance, imposes a 5 percent tax on gross receipts that come from admission charges to sporting events. The Rams included that tax in the price of the tickets, and collected it from each purchase, and paid the sales tax on all amounts charged to customers for the first three years, but not the second.

That fee would have been tacked onto the ticket sales during 2007 to 2013.

Arguing their case in the courts, the Rams said the state owed them $401,000 in improperly assessed sales taxes, while the Department of Revenue’s audit showed they should have collected and remitted nearly $352,000 for their reported sales.

To explain the issue simply, Revenue used the full ticket price to estimate the sales taxes, but the Rams say that the full ticket price included the 5-percent markup, which should not have been included in Revenue’s estimate and should have been assessed at 5-percent below face value.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled against the Rams, and the case now goes back to the Administrative Hearing Commission for deliberation.

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.