Governor vetoes vehicles sales-tax bill

By Matthew Patane

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Friday that would have placed a tax on all vehicles purchased by Missourians, regardless of where they were purchased.

Earlier this session, bill sponsor and former car dealer Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said the bill would help protect Missouri car dealers because it would help decrease competition with out-of-state car dealers, such as those in Illinois.

In his veto letter, Nixon said the bill takes away the rights of Missourians to vote on proposed tax increases. State lawmakers passed similar legislation last year, but Nixon vetoed that measure as well.

Last year, Nixon objected to a retroactive section of the bill that would have forced those who purchased cars out-of-state before the passage of the legislation to pay the taxes. This year’s legislation stripped out that retroactive language and proponents had said the elimination of that provision would make the bill “veto-proof.”

A Missouri Supreme Court decision last year ruled that the Department of Revenue could not collect local taxes on vehicles purchased out-of-state.