Understanding the ballot language on Missouri Amendment 4

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – In addition to national and federal elections, Missouri voters will decide November 8 whether to prevent future sales taxes from being levied on services ranging from daycare to haircuts, landscaping, accounting, and even health care.

Amendment 4 to the Missouri Constitution would limit new state or local sales taxes on any services or transactions that were not subject to such taxes on January 1, 2015.

It is one of those ballot issues where a “yes” vote means something will not happen and a “no” vote means Missouri’s sales tax system could be expanded.

The Missouri Realtors Group is the prime mover behind Amendment 4. Members don’t want to see real estate commissions taxed with a sales tax. Other businesses have joined the effort known as “Missourians for Fair Taxation.”

“This type of tax is a regressive tax and does get passed onto consumers invariably, so it hits hardest those folks who can afford least to pay it,” said John Gormley, CEO of St. Louis Realtors.

Amendment 4 opponent Traci Gleason of the Missouri Budget Project argues changing the state’s constitution would limit government options to adapt to changing business climates and citizen needs.

“It is a premature decision to put something in the constitution that we won’t be able to change,” she said.

Supporters of Amendment 4 say expansion of sales tax to service businesses has been proposed in the Missouri Legislature each year for the past seven years.

See all Missouri statewide ballot issues