Curious new caps on sales tax "stacking"


In the past, many communities have “stacked” sales taxes by enacting more than one version of the same tax. See, for example, an article by CVR’s Dan Vogel entitled The Truth About “Sales Tax Stacking” appearing in the Missouri Municipal Review, June 2009 edition. In its most recent session, the Missouri General Assembly passed a series of unique “stacking” caps and limitations on municipal general sales taxes and certain county additional, special purpose sales taxes.

The language affecting these sales taxes was contained in SB 49, ostensibly pertaining to the St. Louis City-County zoo tax. Relevant portions of the bill amend § 95.510.2 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri by adding the following language: “Beginning August 28, 2017, no city shall submit to the voters any proposal that results in a combined rate of sales taxes adopted under this section in excess of two percent.” The bill also amends § 67.547 of the County Sales Tax Act to provide that: “Beginning August 28, 2017, no county shall submit to the voters any proposal that results in a combined rate of sales taxes adopted under this section in excess of one percent.” In addition, the bill prohibits submittal to the voters of any sales tax proposed under § 67.547 for a two year period from the date of any previous election under this section “regardless of whether the initial proposed sales tax was approved or disapproved by the voters.” (SB 49, 99th General Assembly, 1st Reg. Session (2017)).

Although curiously written, the caps effect only the general municipal sales tax found in §§ 94.500 to 94.550 and the county additional sales tax authorized in § 67.547. Other sales taxes, such as capital improvement sales taxes (which are also frequently stacked), are not affected. The St. Louis County Sales Tax found in §§ 66.600 to 66.630 and sales taxes imposed by municipalities in St. Louis County authorized in §§ 94.850 to 94.857 remain similarly unaffected.

The stacking caps are prospective only; existing sales taxes in excess of the caps are not affected. However, if existing municipal sales taxes have a sunset provision they may not be renewed if passage by the voters would put the total sales tax under § 94.510 over the 2% limit.



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