Sales tax for hospitals, expanding room taxes on Missouri House committee agenda



(The Center Square) – Three bills dealing with local taxation will be heard on Tuesday by Missouri’s House committee on Local Government.

House Bill 2731, sponsored by Rep. Dane Diehl, R-Butler, would allow counties to impose a 1% sales tax with revenue going to support the operation of hospital services within the county. Voters would have to approve the sales tax.

The bill would restrict the size of counties to those with more than 15,700 people but fewer than 17,600. It also would require the county seat to have more than 4,210 people but fewer than 6,000.

Counties falling within the population parameters are Bates (16,042), New Madrid (16,434), Dallas (17,071), Cooper (17,203) and Pike (17,587).

“All moneys collected under this section by the director of the department of revenue on behalf of such county shall be deposited in a special trust fund, which is hereby created and shall be known as the ‘County Hospital Operations Sales Tax Fund,’ except that the director may deposit up to one percent for the cost of collection in the state’s general revenue fund,” the bill states. “Moneys in the fund shall be used solely for the designated purposes. Moneys in the fund shall not be deemed to be state moneys and shall not be commingled with any moneys of the state.”

House Bill 2695, sponsored by Rep. Tricia Byrnes, R-Wentzville, would allow certain cities to impose a transient guest tax of at least 2% but not more than 5% for each occupied room per night. The tax would have to be approved by voters and directed to general revenue.

The bill doesn’t specifically state the city in question is Wentzville, but states it would apply to a city with a population between 40,000 and 46,000 people in a county with a population between 400,000 and 500,000. The information from the U.S. Census Bureau estimates Wentzville’s population to be 47,197 and the only city in a county (St. Charles) meeting the population requirements.

House Bill 2784, sponsored by Rep. Rick Francis, R-Perryville, also would add counties to the list of those eligible to impose a transient guest tax of no more than 6% per occupied room per night. It also would require voter approval.

The bill would add “bed and breakfasts” and campground cabins to the types of rooms to be taxed. Plus, if a county imposes the tax for all sleeping rooms before Aug. 28, it wouldn’t require a separate vote to impose the tax on the two new categories.

The tax would apply to counties with more than 17,600 people but fewer than 19,000 and with a county seat with between 4,000 and 5,050 people. Information from the U.S. Census Bureau lists the following counties meeting the population criteria: Andrew (18,135), Wright (18,188), Ste. Genevieve (18,479) and Perry (18,956).

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