Letter to the Editor

Yes on Proposition 4

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Please vote “Yes on Proposition 4” on Tuesday’s ballot. Prop 4 will amend the state constitution to stop any future attempt to place a sales tax on services in Missouri. Services that could be subject to a sales tax include, but are not limited to, the following: haircuts, day care, lawn care, services of dentists, physicians, attorneys, mechanics, accountants, bankers and realtors. We already pay sales taxes on goods. But we’ve never paid taxes on the services connected to those goods (e.g., we pay tax on an air conditioner, but we don’t pay a tax on the services of the HVAC tech who installs it.) Opponents say Prop 4 is “a solution looking for a problem.” Sorry, wrong. This attitude ignores the plain fact that the MO Legislature has tried seven times to place sales taxes on services. The House passed such a tax in 2009 but the measure failed in the Senate.

Competitiveness with neighboring states is at risk. Missouri is already ranked 48th out of 50 states in terms of economic development. Two-thirds of Missouri’s population live within 30 miles of the border. Public safety is also at risk. A tax on a mechanic’s services may result in deferred maintenance — leading to unsafe vehicles on our roads. Your own pocketbook is at risk. This regressive tax especially will hurt seniors on fixed incomes. Let’s not follow North Carolina and Washington state, which instituted this tax in 2016. Let’s stop the threat Tuesday. Vote “Yes on 4.”

Jeff Long, Cape Girardeau

Spokesman, Missourians for Fair Taxation

Missouri Association of Realtors