Taxing automobiles

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's hard to oppose a tax cut, but a bill in the Missouri Legislature that would waive the state sales tax on trucks, vans, sports utility vehicles and motorcycles made in the state is unfair and would benefit only a small percentage of Missouri taxpayers.

The measure passed overwhelmingly in the House, and it's bound to have considerable appeal to senators. This is, after all, an election year. And tax cuts are what many voters want to see.

This proposal is intended as an incentive to automakers to stay in Missouri and expand existing plants. But officials of the automakers say this plan would likely have little impact on those decisions. Thus, the bill is little more than an attempt to catch the fancy of voters later this year.

If legislators are genuinely concerned about the tax burden on Missourians, they should look at cuts that would benefit most taxpayers.

From that perspective, eliminating the state sales tax on all vehicles sold in Missouri would be the best and fairest relief.

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