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Carnahan files appeal to stop effort to prevent double taxation in Missouri

Dennis Norman

UPDATE 9/03/2010 -Good News!  I’m waiting for confirmation from the Secretary of State’s office, but I have been told that the Secretary of State has decided to drop the appeal and allow this issue to move forward to the voters in November!  A huge victory for Missouri property owners! – end of update.

Yesterday I wrote about a Cole County Judge ruling against the Missouri Secretary of State and in favor a group working to prevent double taxation, by means of a transfer tax or fee on real estate, in Missouri clearing the way to take the initiative to voters this November to decide.   Unfortunately, this morning I learned that the Missouri Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan is going to appeal the courts decision in an apparent effort to keep this issue from coming before the voters of Missouri.

When I contacted the Secretary of State’s office this morning, a staff member confirmed that the Secretary of State’s office plans to appeal the courts decision, but also confirmed that, in accordance with the court order, they have certified the initiative for the November ballot.

The Secretary of State’s office issued the following statement:

Our office follows Missouri law when determining whether enough valid signatures have been submitted to place an initiative petition on the ballot.  In this ruling, the judge found that our office correctly followed the law when we found that an insufficient number of signatures were submitted.

However, the judge also determined that a court does not have to follow those same laws when evaluating a petition, and raised questions about their constitutionality.

The initiative petition process is only fair if the legal requirements are clearly defined.  We will be appealing this decision so that voters, as well as Local Election Authorities and all Missourians, have a clear understanding of what is required to place a question on the ballot.

At this point I’m not sure where this leaves things.  As best I can tell, the issue will be on the ballot at this point and my guess is (emphasis on “guess”) is if, after the election, the appellant court rules in favor of the Secretary of State that will nullify the vote of the people and, even if it passed, which I fully expect it will, it will not have any effect at that point.

As I learn more about this issue I’ll update this blog.

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