CAPITOL REPORT: REPRESENTATIVE PATRICIA PIKE
Special Legislative Session Planned to Address Motor Vehicle Sales Tax Issue
JEFFERSON CITY, MO: In early September legislators will return to Jefferson City for the annual constitutionally-mandated veto session. The legislature will also convene for a special session called by Gov. Mike Parson. The governor said the special session, which will begin September 9 and run concurrently with veto session, will focus on a tax issue involving vehicle trade-ins.
Specifically, the special session will give lawmakers an opportunity to fix a state statute to allow the sales proceeds of more than one vehicle, trailer, boat, or outboard motor to be used as a credit against the sales tax owed on the purchase of another. The fix is necessary because a recent ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court clarified that the sales proceeds of only one vehicle may be used as a credit against the sales tax owed on the purchase of a new vehicle.
The governor has asked lawmakers to amend the state law to allow for the sale of multiple vehicles to be used as a credit. The fix would be in line with the Department of Revenue’s prior practice and what consumers have come to expect.
In calling the special session, Gov. Parson said, “After reviewing the Court’s decision, we’ve decided to call a special session because it’s simply the right thing to do for the people of our state. The enforcement of this decision would create a financial burden on Missouri taxpayers and unnecessary government red tape that we can proactively prevent.”
The special session will begin Monday, September 9. The annual veto session will begin Wednesday, September 11. Lawmakers plan to hold an efficient special session to keep the cost to taxpayers at a minimum.
House Leaders Receive Update on Medicaid Enrollment Numbers
House members have continued to look closely at the declining enrollment numbers for the state’s Medicaid system. This week House Speaker Elijah Haahr met with MO HealthNet Director Todd Richardson to receive an update regarding the drop in the number of children enrolled in Medicaid.
As a result of the meeting, Speaker Haahr learned that the decrease in caseloads is not a surprise to the department, especially now that the new renewal computer system has had a full year to complete the Annual Review Process. The department anticipated a drop in enrollment in part because of changes in 2016 to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), when the Medicaid caseload was at its high-water mark. These changes combined with an improved economy have lowered the Medicaid caseload similar to numbers before the ACA took effect in 2014. The Speaker learned this change is consistent with other state assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which have fallen below its 2014 level.
The Speaker also learned that from 2014 to 2018, a previous administration did not robustly verify eligibility requirements of individuals on an annual basis. This led to the automatic renewal of a significant number of enrollees, many of whom did not qualify for assistance. With new software, the comprehensive review is performing a needed cleanup of those who are not eligible for Medicaid benefits.
The department assured Speaker Haahr that anyone who applies for Medicaid and meets the eligibility requirements will receive services. If someone loses Medicaid coverage, they can apply at any time to explore eligibility for immediate and prior quarter coverage. There are more than 263 entities statewide who can determine presumptive eligibility, meaning Missourians can receive immediate Medicaid coverage.
Following the meeting, Speaker Haahr said he was “pleased to know Missouri generously provides a greater window for its annual review process than is required by the federal government, allowing our citizens additional time for the department to communicate with enrollees of the required annual renewal.”
He also expressed appreciation for the department’s candor in their need to improve call center performance.
He added, “I have asked Director Richardson to do what he can or let me know how the General Assembly can expedite the transition to provide Missourians with tools that will make sure our children are not stuck on bureaucratic hold to receive basic medical care.”
Contact Representative Pike at [email protected] or call 573-751-5388 with your comments and for assistance on state issues, resolutions, flags, and visits in District and at the Capitol. Contact Legislative Assistant, Matt Glover, at [email protected]. Our 126th District Office is open year-round at the Missouri Capitol Monday through Thursday – 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Room 404A.