A bill to bring back a sales tax break for multi-vehicle trade-ins will provide some “clarity” for the citizens and businesses that usually rely on it, supporters said Tuesday.

The House Committee on Ways and Means voted 6-4 to advance the bill, House Bill 1, at an afternoon hearing. HB1 is the subject of the special session called by Gov. Mike Parson.

In June, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that money from the sale of a single vehicle could be used to offset the sales tax on a replacement. HB1 would allow people to use money from the sale of multiple vehicles, which is what the Department of Revenue allowed before the court ruling. Vehicles, under the law, would cover things like cars and recreational vehicles, but also trailers, boats, and outboard motors.

Rep. Shane Roden, R-Cedar Hill, voted against the bill, as did all three Democratic members of the committee.

The discussion before the vote focused largely on who actually makes use of the tax break.

“This affects people from all walks of life,” said Rep. Becky Ruth, R-Festus, the bill’s sponsor.

She cited several examples, like elderly couples who want to downsize to a single car, farmers trading in trucks or someone having financial difficulties who “needs to sell that extra car — and boat, trailer and motor — to get one car that’s more financially manageable.”

Several industry and business representatives also lent their support.

Jeremy Anderson, general manager of Big Thunder Marine and a board member of the Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association, said the tax credit affects almost two-thirds of their boat sales.

“This bill affects us more than almost anyone else who spoke today,” he said.

Their customers will often trade in a boat, an outboard motor and a trailer for one inboard boat, Anderson said. He also noted the person buying the boat uses the tax credit, not Big Thunder Marine itself.

Roden asked whether there were businesses that would use the tax credit. In response, Ruth, the bill’s sponsor, said some businesses could possibly take advantage of it, but that it really impacts more of “the everyday person.”

Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, introduced an amendment to limit the tax credit to individuals and businesses with 12 or fewer employees.

She proposed the change “so that larger industries could not take advantage of (the tax credit).” Her amendment was voted down.

Supervising editor is Kaleigh Feldkamp.

  • Assistant city editor for the Missourian. I've also reported on city government, health, and public safety. Email me at tynanstewart@mail.missouri.edu. I welcome feedback, questions, and news tips.

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