The November 2, 2010 election is less than 35 days away.  Many are looking forward to sending Washington a message and a new composition to Congress on that day! Here in Missouri, several issues will also be on the ballot.

Yesterday, I wrote about Proposition B and the fact that while there are a lot of good intentioned people supporting it, United for Missouri recommends a NO vote on November 2nd.

The “transfer tax” we have already had imposed on us by the current administration and Congress is bad enough.  Some good folks here in Missouri are working to make sure we don’t see a transfer tax on real estate in our great state!

Amendment 3 is designed to prevent any transfer tax, including a sales tax, to be placed on real estate transactions.

The official language for Amendment 3 is:

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?

It is estimated this proposal will have no costs or savings to state or local governmental entities.

Fair Ballot Language:

“yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate.

“no” vote will not change the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing a new tax on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Here is an on-point quote from Amendment 3 literature:

With big state and local government deficits caused by wasteful spending, politicians are looking for new revenue sources. Enough is enough when it comes to taxes. We already pay sales taxes, income taxes, personal property taxes, and many other taxes and fees.

Missouri is one of 13 states that does not levy any form of transfer tax on real estate transactions. All eight of our neighboring states levy some form of a transfer tax at some level of government.

The backers of Amendment 3 are correct in recognizing that a transfer tax is a  “convenient” potential source of revenue for state and local governments.  In lean times, we know government is looking for more money to spend.  Many governments make some cuts but are loathe to really take the opportunity to restructure that is being presented to them.  Instead, some make unnecessary, dramatic cuts in order to create a “crisis” to justify seeking more money from taxpayers.  Just ask the folks in Neosho!

Fortunately, here in Missouri we have the Hancock Amendment in our state constitution, which affords some very good taxpayer protections.  You know the Hancock Amendment is working well as almost every big government or growth in government proponent hates it!

In the case of a transfer tax, the legislature could enact one without a vote of the people as long as it did not exceed a certain threshhold, currently around $90 million.  If it exceeded the threshold, it would require a vote of the people. Local governments cannot enact one without legislative authority and would require a vote of the people.  Amendment 3 would prohibit all the forgoing scenarios and then some!

I haven’t heard a great deal of push back on Amendment 3.  It could be that big government supporters are too busy trying to convince people that letting voters decide on an earnings tax is a bad idea.

Amendment 3 is a preemptive strike against an attractive to big government tax.  United for Missouri supports the fact that state and local governments should be prohibited from levying a transfer tax.  We recommend YES on Amendment 3!