Moon’s bill seeks to refund sales tax from assessments, Budget Committee passes two bills out of committee

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The House Budget Committee continues pushing forward in their review of the state’s funding and departmental requests, but a short break from presentations on Wednesday morning gave a brief opportunity to hear a bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Moon.

Moon’s bill, HB 1722, would authorize a sales tax refund for businesses that had assessed higher taxes without notice due to the Department of Revenue’s changing of the interpretation for “taxable items” before August 28, 2015.

In essence, DOR would be required to refund sales taxes during the 10-year-period of 2005-2015, as a result of the audits conducted in regard to the sales tax law changes.

According to Moon’s bill language, the total amount that could be refunded under the bill would be $5 million.

Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick said that his concern with that kind of refund would simply return the money to the businesses, rather than the people who actually paid the sales tax.

“Small businesses are afraid to represent themselves against you guys,” one representative told Mark Siettmann, the representative speaking for DOR.

Siettmann agreed that there were some perception issues in regard to DOR, but said that new leadership in the department has changed much in that regard.

“Our purpose should not be to get every dime from taxpayers, but to help them meet obligations,” Siettman said. “I think going forward, you will see a different Department of Revenue, but we’ll have to prove that to you.”

After that, the committee went into executive session, where they voted out HB 1517, Rep. Gail McCann Beatty’s legal expense fund bill and Rep. David Wood’s HB 2171, which would modify provisions relating to the blind pension fund.

Following the vote, the committee returned to their regularly scheduled programming of department presentations.

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.