This week Governor Nixon signed numerous bills concerning small businesses. He also signed a variety of other bills. The window for his actions will close next week. Here is a quick look at this week's bill signings.
Governor Signs HB 616
On Monday, Governor Nixon signed my HB 616. The original bill provides for a starting date for new taxing districts. If the voters approve a new taxing district by June 30, taxes may be collected for the current calendar year. If the taxing district is approved July 1 or after, taxes will not be collected until the following calendar year. The statutes had no guidance on this matter, and this caused some confusion. Now we have some clarity. The bill passed the House overwhelmingly and went to the Senate.
In the Senate, a friendly amendment came to my attention. Along with Senate handler Will Kraus, the amendment became a part of the bill.
The amendment concerned rental equipment stores that have a large amount of personal property. This is considered inventory, and Missouri ended inventory taxes several years ago (remember the end of year inventory reduction sales?). When the state eliminated the inventory property tax, we substituted a Merchants and Manufacturers surcharge that is paid yearly. This amendment, which became a part of the bill, ends this possibility of double taxation. Unfortunately, in today's world we must write everything down, but this story has a happy ending that will allow small businesses to avoid paying taxes on top of taxes.
Thanks to my office staff, the House research staff, and all the legislators who made this bill a law!
Other Bill Signings
Gov. Jay Nixon also signed SB 18 which requires the Department of Revenue to notify businesses if there are changes in the interpretation of sales or use tax laws. Businesses had complained they were being subjected to retroactive notification from the Department of Revenue; SB 18 will now end any confusion. Also, the governor signed HB 517 which shortens the amount of time in which the Department of Revenue is required to issue tax refunds. The old refund window of 90 days is now shortened to 45 days after a return or overpayment claim is filed.
In addition to Senate Bill 18 and House Bill 517, the governor also signed the following bills and resolutions:
-- HB 613 updates and clarifies laws pertaining to delinquent property tax and real property tax sales, among other provisions.
-- HB 361 designating the third week of February in Missouri as "Engineer Awareness Week.
-- HB 402 designating the week before Memorial Day as "Missouri Safe Boating Week".
-- HB 404 which expands the current designation of May 15th as "Missouri's Peace Officers Memorial Day" to include the week in which the 15th falls as "Missouri's Peace Officer Memorial Week".
-- HB 531 requires child proof packaging for electronic cigarette materials.
-- HB 859 designating April 15th as "Jackie Robinson Day".
-- HB 567 designating December 4th as "Alpha Phi Alpha Day".
-- HB 874 designating October 16 of each year as "Walt Disney -- 'A Day to Dream' Day".
-- HB 1119 designating the second Monday in April as "Missouri Lineworker Appreciation Day."
-- HB 1149 gives the Division of Youth Services to oversee employment for children under their care.
-- SB 166 which changes the "I Have A Dream" specialty license place to the "Dare to Dream" license plate to address concerns about copyright infringement.
-- SB 321 provides added legal protection to sexual assault victims.
-- SB 341 gives added protection to abused children.
-- SB 405 which adjusts the county collector's fee schedule for collecting state and local taxes in the county.
-- SCR 1 which designates January as "Sex Trafficking Awareness Month" in Missouri.
Time Capsule Dedication
On Friday, July 3, I attended the dedication of the new Capitol Building time capsule on the South Lawn. All three branches were represented at the ceremony. We ate ice cream after the dedication, and took a group picture which is included below. Here's to the next 100 years!