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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.

Let's Talk Business: Update from First Regular Session of Missouri's 101st General Assembly

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The First Regular Session of the 101st General Assembly of the State of Missouri has ended and there are some changes coming that will affect the business community.

After several years of efforts, the Wayfair bill passed. Missouri became the last of the 45 states with a state-level sales tax to enact a law requiring the collection of sales taxes for online purchases. Considering the increased revenue for the state, the bill also includes a personal income tax reduction over a period of years. Cities and counties that currently have a use tax will not have to re-vote but those without a use tax in place will have to do so.

For the first time since 1993, the General Assembly passed a motor fuel tax that will increase gas tax by 2.5 cents per year for five years. The bill does allow for Missouri residents to submit the increased gas taxes as a tax deduction on their state income taxes with proper documentation.

Also passing was a bill providing individuals and businesses immunity from civil liability for damages for an injury related to Covid exposure unless that individual or business was engaged in gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Other bills passed include reforms to Tax Increment Financing, Community Improvement Districts, and Missouri Works. These are economic development tools used by practitioners.

These, and several others, await the Governor’s signature. But likely, the ones we’ve talked about, will become law.

John Mehner is the former President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.
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