Why is Amendment 3 on the ballot?
Ed Emery has part of the answer:
To the Citizens of Missouri,
Numerous conservative organizations across the state have asked whether or not Amendment 3 will hurt efforts to end the state income tax. Ed Emery, sponsor of MO Jobs and Prosperity Act 2010, responded to that question and to a charge of deception concerning his position. Mr. Emery is urging a ‘no’ vote on Amendment 3 for the following reasons:
“I have not tried to be deceptive but informative. I have fully supported (I think even co-sponsored) Missouri Association of Realtors efforts to ensure that transfer fees are not imposed, but for whatever reason we have not been able to pass that legislation. MAR can probably fill in the blanks on who has been responsible for killing the anti-fee proposals. I also have not opposed their efforts to accomplish the same thing via Missouri's petition process because I was told by their representatives that the petition was confined to their fee issue and did not impact efforts to eliminate the income tax in Missouri.
Once I took time to read the ballot language, it was clear I had been misled.
Amendment 3 imposes a special industry-specific exemption from the provisions of SJR 29 (or its legislative successor). It invokes a serious flaw into meaningful tax reform. Not only will passage of Amendment 3 increase the consumption tax rate needed to eliminate the income tax and remain revenue-neutral, but it will be followed by a long line of similarly "important" exemptions. Missouri will be thrown right back into the process of government picking winners and losers by tax code. That's the taxation model that always favors the powerful elite over small business, punishes economic success, and ultimately penalizes the consumer.
The consumption tax model (SJR 29) is not a tweak or even major modification of the income tax model. It represents a step-function transformation: a paradigm shift. MAR, with Amendment 3, is threatening this strategic transformation in the economic climate and prosperity of Missouri for a tactical victory that is trivial in comparison and that benefits only a few Missourians. True tax reform benefits all Missourians.
That is my view and why I am passionately opposed to Amendment 3. I am happy to do whatever I can to help ensure that the transfer fee issue is fixed, but not at the cost of meaningful tax reform. Whatever the people choose on Nov. 2nd, my goal is that they be fully informed on both the surface and the strategic impacts before they vote.
I would say fully informed on the "secondary effects," but after reading the Amendment 3 language, I don't think the confrontation with SJR 29 is a secondary effect, but the primary purpose. I think the proposed special treatment of one industry relative to SJR 29's proposed tax reforms is MAR's primary purpose even though they have told membership the primary purpose is the threat of new fees.
As always - frequently mistaken, but seldom without an opinion,
I remain sincerely yours,