Learn more about Amendment 4, the Taxpayer Protection Amendment
WHAT IS AMENDMENT 4?
Amendment 4 to the Missouri Constitution would prohibit state and local governments from imposing any new sales tax or use tax on services. Services are not currently taxed, and Amendment 4 would protect Missouri from new taxes on services.
WHO IS BACKING AMENDMENT 4?
Amendment 4 is backed by a statewide coalition, Missourians for Fair Taxation (MFT). MFT was created by the 20,000-member Missouri Association of REALTORS®, which has a strong track record of protecting consumers. The coalition has grown to include other statewide professional and trade groups, all committed to protecting Missourians from new taxes on services.
WHAT KINDS OF SERVICES WOULD AMENDMENT 4 KEEP TAX-FREE?
Amendment 4 is designed to prohibit the state from putting a new sales tax on services that Missourians use every day. Here are just a few examples:
FAMILY SERVICES: Day care, rent, health care, self-defense instruction and tutoring.
PERSONAL SERVICES: Haircuts, manicures, tattoos, dry cleaning, car repairs and funerals.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES: Banking, accounting, advertising, technical installations and real estate.
HEALTH CARE SERVICES: Physicians, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, eye doctors and counselors.
HOME SERVICES: Construction, plumbing, lawn care, heating and air conditioning, installations and repairs, appraisals and inspections.
HOW ARE CONSUMERS IMPACTED?
Sales taxes hit low- and middle-income families hardest. Amendment 4 protects those who are least able to afford new taxes, including senior citizens, the disabled and others on fixed incomes.
HOW REAL IS THE THREAT?
New sales taxes on services have been proposed in the last seven sessions of the Missouri General Assembly. Just this year, Missouri’s neighboring states of Oklahoma and Illinois have discussed taxing services. Other states, such as North Carolina and Washington State, have started imposing new sales taxes on services this year. The threat is real because politicians often share bad ideas, and a sales tax on services is a bad idea for Missouri consumers.
WHAT WOULD BE THE AMENDMENT’S FINANCIAL IMPACT ON GOVERNMENT?
Missouri does not currently impose a broad sales tax on services. Because Amendment 4 would protect Missouri from imposing future sales taxes on services, there would not be any financial impact on governments because they do not now collect such a tax. Amendment 4 is revenue-neutral. A constitutional amendment adds certainty that future Missouri politicians and bureaucrats cannot simply change or interpret the law to allow sales taxes on services.
WHAT MESSAGE IS SENT TO POLITICIANS AND BUREAUCRATS?
Amendment 4 adds Constitutional security to Missouri’s current practice of not taxing sales of services we use every day. It tells politicians to stop wasting tax dollars they already collect, stop looking for new ways to tax our citizens, and Protect Missouri from new taxes.
HOW WOULD AMENDMENT 4 AFFECT SALES TAXES FOR GOODS BOUGHT ONLINE?
The sales of tangible goods are currently subject to Missouri sales tax. Amendment 4 does not affect sales taxes for tangible goods, whether or not those goods are purchased online.
HOW WOULD THE AMENDMENT AFFECT USE TAXES?
Use taxes are imposed by law when tangible goods are purchased outside the state and then used in Missouri. Amendment 4 would not affect current use taxes in Missouri.
HOW WOULD THE AMENDMENT AFFECT EXISTING SALES TAXES ON GOODS?
Amendment 4 would not affect existing sales taxes on tangible goods. Those taxes could still be raised, modified or extended.
WHAT WILL APPEAR ON THE NOV. 8 BALLOT?
Here is the Official Ballot Title for Amendment 4 that will be presented to voters when they look at their ballot:
Shall the Missouri constitution be amended to prohibit a new state or local sales or use tax on any service or activity that was not subject to a sales or use tax as of Jan. 1 2015.
Potential costs to state and local governmental entities are unknown but could be significant. The proposal’s passage would impact governmental entities ability to revise their tax structures. State and local governments expect no savings from this proposal.
WHAT IS THE ACTUAL LANGUAGE IN AMENDMENT 4?
Section 26. In order to prohibit an increase in the tax burden on the citizens of Missouri, state and local sales and use taxes (or any similar transaction-based tax) shall not be expanded to impose taxes on any service or transaction that was not subject to sales, use or similar transaction-based tax on January 1, 2015.
WHAT IS THE ‘’FAIR BALLOT” LANGUAGE FOR AMENDMENT 4?
Missouri law requires the Secretary of State to write, and for the Attorney general to approve, “Fair Ballot” language describing what a “Yes” or “No” vote will mean, as well as the impact on taxes. Fair Ballot summaries are publicly posted at each polling place to help voters better understand ballot measures. Here is the Fair Ballot summary for Amendment 4:
A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit a new state or local sales/use or other similar tax on any service or transaction. This amendment only applies to any service or transaction that was not subject to a sales/use or similar tax as of January 1, 2015.
A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit such state or local sales/use or other similar tax.
If passed, this measure will not increase or decrease taxes.