STONE COUNTY, Mo. – Supporters of the “Taxpayer Protection Amendment,” gathered for a rally in Stone County Tuesday night.
The proposal, which is Amendment 4 on the November ballot, would prohibit governments from creating taxes on labor and services in the future.
Among the some 40 organizations in Missouri supporting the initiative is the Tri-Lakes Board of Realtors. The realtors association hosted the rally in hopes of drumming up support from local businesses and residents before the election.
“We just feel like this is one of those things where we’re letting folks know, and making them aware of it,” says Tri-Lakes Board of Realtors president, Rob Robbins.
Robbins says while the amendment may be confusing to some voters, in essence, it will protect them from paying taxes on services like hair cuts, oil changes, maintenance work and gym memberships in the future.
“[The potential tax increase] could especially affect those that it hurts the worst, which are retired folks, fixed income people, the disabled,” Robbins says, “low income, middle income, which is a major part of our market here.”
Robbins says the realtors’ stake in the game applies to the potential pile up of new taxes on residents looking to buy a home. He says the potential taxes on services could also include home inspections, appraisals and loan applications at the bank.
Robbins says states across the Midwest, including Missouri, have considered similar proposals recently, which is why he sees a “yes” vote on the amendment as a preventative measure.
“Illinois and Oklahoma just finished a session discussing it,” he says.
“The potential of starting a sales tax on services — it’s comes up seven session in the state of Missouri,” Robbins says. “So it’s coming up every time they get together, and so we felt we needed to be proactive.”
While opposition to the measure is small, the Missouri Municipal League has said the amendment would “limit the ability for city sales taxes to adjust to the ever-shifting economy.”
The MML also believes if the amendment is approved it could potential affect funding for vital services like police and fire department.
“[The amendment] could cripple a local government in carrying out the needs of citizens.”