A view of the Missouri Senate chamber from the visitors gallery (photo courtesy of the Missouri Senate).
The Missouri Senate passed two separate tax relief bills Thursday as part of a bipartisan compromise effort.
SB 143, sponsored by Sen. Doug Beck, D-Affton, is a combination of tax credits and exemptions pushed for by Democrats. The bill raises the tax credit limit for food pantry donations, exempts diapers and feminine hygiene products from sales tax and gives tax credits for consumers buying groceries in food deserts.
SB 131 is sponsored by Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville. The bill removes state and local sales tax on firearms and ammunition. The bill also offers a state tax credit to sellers of firearms and ammunition equal to the federal tax on the sale of those items.
“I voted for both. There are a fair number of people who voted for both,” said President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia.
Democrats have been trying to pass a larger grocery tax relief bill but have been blocked by Republicans.
“I think you have two sides that wanted to get something. … We decided to give a path for sales tax exemption for diapers and period products and food deserts, and they decided to give a pass to no sales tax on guns and ammo,” said Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence.
The firearms and ammunition tax bill received no support from Democrats, but they agreed to allow final passage without a filibuster.
“Sometimes you got to create a path to let them get something, and that’s what they chose. We chose to help Missouri families,” Rizzo said.
Sen. Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit, said he would be voting against the bill because he did not see how the exemption for gun sellers helped Missouri consumers.
Both bills now move to the House.
This story originally appeared in the Columbia Missourian. It can be republished in print or online.
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