Missouri’s Ballot, Part 3: The Constitutional Amendments

This is the second part of a series of posts which will analyze the issues on the ballot in Missouri and in Columbia.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO. 1
Proposed by the 95th General Assembly
(First Regular Session) SJR 5
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to
require the office of county assessor to be an
elected position in all counties with a charter
form of government, except counties with a
population between 600,001-699,999?
It is estimated this proposal will have no costs
or savings to state or local governmental
entities.

This one is kind of weird. I would usually be all in favor of having more local officials elected rather than appointed. But there’s a strange provision in here that I don’t really understand: “Except counties with a population between 600,001-699,999.” The only county in the state that falls into that category is Jackson County, the county where Kansas City is. Why are they specially exempted from this position? And even if there is a legitimate reason to exempt them, what happens when their population grows over 700,000? Because of the suspicious provision, I’d vote no.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO. 2
Proposed by the 95th General Assembly
(First Regular Session) HJR 15
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to
require that all real property used as a
homestead by Missouri citizens who are former
prisoners of war and have a total
service-connected disability be exempt from
property taxes?
The number of qualified former prisoners of war
and the amount of each exemption are
unknown, however, because the number who
meet the qualifications is expected to be small,
the cost to local governmental entities should be
minimal. Revenue to the state blind pension
fund may be reduced by $1,200.

Why not? I’m down for giving veterans tax benefits.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO. 3
Proposed by Initiative Petition
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.

Basically this is a preemptive strike against a double-tax on real estate in the state. Real estate purchases are already subject to local and state sales taxes. This just prevents an additional special sales tax from being levied on top of that. Other states are voting on similar provisions this November. I’d vote yes.

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