The measure, sponsored by Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, would create districts throughout Missouri to propose taxes of no more than 33 cents per $100 to voters in order to support extension programming. However, if the voters do not vote in favor of the bill in more than a simple majority, the tax will not go into effect.
Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-St. Louis County, proposed the amendment to carve out St. Louis County from the legislation, exempting them from any proposed districts, councils or taxes.
“It would remove St. Louis County from this new taxing jurisdiction because of unique circumstances in our county and the number of taxing jurisdictions we already have,” Schmitt said.
Schmitt said many of the taxing jurisdictions that St. Louis County has exclusive from the rest of the state include taxes to support zoos and museums within the county.
Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, questioned if it was really necessary to exempt an area, since the establishment of a taxable extension district is completely voluntary.
“If St. Louis County doesn’t want to do it, they don’t have to do it," Holsman said.
But Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-St. Louis County, said that St. Louis County’s contributions to the state’s tourism industry overruled their requirement to comply with the legislation.
“We produce the majority of the revenue, more than any other county in the state, “ Chappelle-Nadal said. “Sometimes we need these carve outs.”
The legislation still needs another vote before it can be sent to the House.