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The Link Market denied sales tax exemption by Missouri officials, awaits state Supreme Court decision

The Link Market denied sales tax exemption by Missouri officials, awaits state Supreme Court decision

The Link Market

A patron examines the fresh food options at The Link Market's site at the North Hanley MetroLink Station. Photo courtesy of Metro Transit. 

JEFFERSON CITY — Another St. Louis-area nonprofit is fighting the Missouri Department of Revenue over its sales tax exemption, and the result may hinge on a Missouri Supreme Court decision in a similar case.

The Link Market, a nonprofit grocery known for the markets it operates at the Wellston and North Hanley MetroLink stations, applied for a sales tax exemption from the state in September 2018 under Missouri’s exemption for charitable organizations.

The state denied the application, saying The Link Market did not submit enough information. The Link Market, founded by former St. Louis University medical student Jeremy Goss, appealed to the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission.

The dispute is the second example of the state’s revenue department blocking a St. Louis nonprofit’s request for the sales tax break. Both The Link Market and the state on Tuesday asked the Administrative Hearing Commission to hold off any decision on the case until the Supreme Court rules on another, similar dispute.

Earlier this month, the Department of Revenue appealed a decision from the Administrative Hearing Commission siding with north St. Louis County nonprofit Beyond Housing’s request for a sales tax exemption for its Pagedale Town Center project. The project, at the corner of Page and Ferguson avenues, is part of Beyond Housing’s development efforts in the low-income suburb, which have already developed space for a movie theater, health clinics, grocery store and bank. The latest phase includes commercial space for area entrepreneurs and a new commercial kitchen startup.

The charitable exemption would have allowed Beyond Housing’s contractors to utilize a sales tax exemption on construction materials. For-profit developers commonly utilize construction sales tax exemptions using economic development agencies.

After the state revenue department denied Beyond Housing’s application for a sales tax exemption, Beyond Housing also appealed to the Administrative Hearing Commission. The administrative hearing judge ruled Beyond Housing was indeed a charitable group and that it “excels as a charity.”

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