Missouri REALTORS Make Progress Fighting Double Taxation

Dennis Norman

Last October I wrote about an effort by the Missouri Association of REALTORS (MAR) to protect Missouri homeowners from facing double taxation through a real estate transfer tax by backing an effort to amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit such a tax.   To get the issue on November’s ballot, petitions with signatures from a requisite number of Missouri voters needed to be submitted to the Secretary of State by yesterday.

Today, the Vote YES to Stop Double Taxation Committee, announced that on Sunday it turned in petitions, signed by “tens of thousands of registered voters”, to the Secretary of State for review.

“In overwhelming numbers, Missouri citizens supported through their signatures putting into our State Constitution an assurance that the sales of homes and other real estate won’t be subjected to paying taxes twice on the same property,” said Elizabeth Mendenhall of Columbia, spokesperson for the Vote YES to Stop Double Taxation Committee.

“Thanks to the signatures of so many thousands of our neighbors, Missouri is a step closer to banning bad public policy that denies fairness and defies common sense,” added Mendenhall, who is also president of the 22,000-member Missouri Association of REALTORS®.

Transfer taxes on home sales are double taxation because Missourians already pay annual property taxes on real estate, often over many decades of ownership.  Missouri is among just 13 states that do not impose a transfer tax on real estate sales, including all of Missouri’s neighboring states. As state, county and city revenues decline, politicians are tempted to impose new transfer taxes – just as Missouri citizens are struggling to make it.

“This unfair double taxation can happen in Missouri under current law. We are asking voters to keep politicians from penalizing Missourians with such a bad tax policy,” Mendenhall said.  She led supporters on Sunday as they turned in petitions signed by citizens from across the state to place the proposed state constitutional amendment on November’s general election ballot.

The proposed state constitutional amendment’s language is straightforward and simple: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?”

The Secretary of State will now work with county election officials to verify the petition signatures. Once the required number of signatures are verified, the proposal will secure a place on the November statewide ballot and will be assigned an amendment number.

Voters are encouraged to visit www.YesToSaveHomes.com to learn more about the proposal to stop double taxation.

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