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Group seeks to swap Mo. income tax for sales tax

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) __ Supporters of replacing Missouri’s income tax with an expanded sales tax took their first step Friday
toward getting the idea to voters by filing proposals with the secretary of state’s office.


Backers submitted nine versions of a proposed constitutional amendment that could appear before voters in the November 2012
election. They generally would phase out income taxes while levying a state sales tax on more purchases. The sales tax would be capped
at 7 percent and would cover goods and many services.  Missouri currently has a 4.225 percent state sales tax. Of that, 3 percent is for general state revenue and 1.225 percent is for dedicated purposes such as conservation, education and state parks.
Local governments also can levy a sales tax.  To get a constitutional amendment on the ballot, supporters must collect signatures from two-thirds of the state’s congressional districts equaling 8 percent of the votes cast in the 2008 gubernatorial election. That amounts to between about 146,000 and 160,000 signatures depending upon which congressional districts are targeted. Before signatures are gathered, state officials must develop a ballot summary and cost estimate. 
The income tax constitutional amendment is supported by the same group behind a measure approved by voters last year to ban new
cities from enacting an earnings tax and to require St. Louis and Kansas City to hold regular votes on their existing earnings tax.
That group received significant financial support from retired businessman Rex Sinquefield.  Travis Brown, the group’s president, said Friday that replacing the income tax with a sales tax would help create jobs, promote economic development and make state revenue less volatile. Brown said Missouri could add thousands of new jobs per year by changing its tax policies.

Copyright Associated Press

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