JEFFERSON CITY — Following negotiations in the Senate on Tuesday, a Weldon Spring legislator secured a phaseout of taxes on personal property — for his home county, St. Charles.
The plan by Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, originally applied statewide and would have had a dramatic effect on local coffers: an estimated $1.45 billion less in annual revenue for local governments, according to a state analysis.
Under a revamped version unveiled Tuesday afternoon, Eigel tied the personal property tax reduction to the corresponding growth in revenue generated by increased real property assessments, meaning that as real property taxes increase personal property taxes would decrease by that amount.
Eigel said he wants to get rid of the personal property tax — which local governments levy on motor vehicles, campers, boats and aircraft — because it is “regressive” and “hammers working- and middle-class households.”
He said earlier this year only 21 states collect personal property tax, and Missouri’s rate is the third highest.
Currently, personal property is assessed at 33.3% of its real value. Local governments then tax that assessed value.
Sen. Doug Beck, D-south St. Louis County, offered an amendment so Eigel’s phaseout would only apply to St. Charles County, saying it would be a good test before such phaseouts are applied to the rest of the state.
Eigel was able to attach his personal property tax phaseout to an unrelated bill after senators approved Beck’s amendment.
The underlying bill deals with a host of tax issues, including the authorization of a tax on online sales, a measure pushed by Gov. Mike Parson and local officials.
After Tuesday’s action, the legislation awaited a hearing in the Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee.
If it clears the Senate, the House would have until the end of this year’s legislative session, at 6 p.m. Friday, to back Eigel’s plan and send it to Parson for consideration.
The legislation is House Bill 66.