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Capitol Briefs: Wayfair bill passed back to Senate

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri is one step closer to joining the rest of the country in enacting a sales tax on online purchases, commonly known as a Wayfair tax. 

The bill from Sen. Andrew Koenig would allow the state to impose a sales tax on online purchases made through vendors with a physical presence in the state, a practice adopted by most other states. The latest version includes various taxation provisions, from the elimination of income tax on COVID-19 stimulus funds to the creation of an Urban Agricultural Zone Fund, in addition to a House amendment clarifying language. Wayfair would take effect in 2023 under the bill.

“I believe we have constructed a package that is fair to all of the players involved. We have to be fair to out-of-state businesses because that’s what the Supreme Court said, and we want to help our in-state businesses to better compete,” said handler Rep. J. Eggleston. “After a lot of negation, I think we’re at a pretty good spot.” 

  • The bill passed 102-42. Rep. Peter Merideth opposed the measure on the House floor, pointing to tax cuts in the bill that could jeopardize the state’s allocation of federal relief funds
  • The bill would also phase out video service provider fees, modify the use tax economic nexus, and enact a Voluntary Firefighter Cancer Benefits Trust, among other changes. 
  • Gov. Mike Parson identified Wayfair as a priority in his 2021 State of the State address, hoping the “House and Senate will consider legislation to address the unfair advantage online retailers have over small businesses in Missouri.”