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Speaker talks about Missouri ballot initiatives at First Friday Coffee
Two statewide issues on the Nov. 2 ballot dealing with earnings and real estate transfer taxes could affect businesses.
Ray McCarty, president of the Associated Industries of Missouri, spoke about ballot measures Friday at the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce's First Friday Coffee at the Show Me Center.
Proposition A, if approved by voters, would require an election in Kansas City and St. Louis to determine whether the earnings tax in those cities should be continued. If voters in a city reject the earnings tax, then that city's earnings tax would be phased out over a 10-year period.
"Earnings taxes are considered to be a lug on economic development. When bringing a company in, they have to figure that into their cost of doing business," McCarty said.
However, businesses are also concerned about how those cities would choose to make up for the lost revenue if an earnings tax was abolished, he said. They fear a business personal property assessment or some other kind of business tax could be enacted.
In St. Louis and Kansas City, both wages and corporate earnings are taxed.
Amendment 3 is also a measure on the ballot that would affect businesses. If approved, the amendment would prohibit real estate transfer taxes on both commercial and residential property.
The Missouri Association of Realtors worked to get the signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot to protect property owners, said David Soto of Soto Property Management in Cape Girardeau. Thirty-seven states have a real estate transfer tax, including the seven states that border Missouri, he said.
"Voting yes will prohibit taxes when you transfer property from one LLC to another, when you transfer from your name into a trust or when you transfer property to your children," Soto said.
Proposition B, also know as the Puppy Mill Proposition, would limit the number of breeding dogs people may own and requires adequate food, shelter and rest be provided in large-scale breeding operations. The Missouri Farm Bureau is opposing Proposition B, McCarty said.
"The fear is if you are going to regulate the number of animals people can have, where will you stop? Those opposed to this look at it as the camel's nose under the tent."
Two other constitutional amendments discussed by McCarty are Amendment 1, requiring all county assessors in counties with charter government to be elected, and Amendment 2, which would exempt homes of disabled former prisoners of war from property taxes.
1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, MO