Missouri Speaker of the House Rod Jetton advocates for removal of property tax on vehicles during his most recent capital report:
For the past few months now I have been talking to you about the need to reform property taxes in Missouri. Last week I told you about my promise to do all I can to take action on this important issue during this year's session. For this week I want to talk about an aspect of property taxes that is not mentioned much, but is still a large part of the problem, personal property taxes on motor vehicles.
Usually when people talk about property taxes they mean residential property taxes, basically the tax on your home. These taxes account for half of all property taxes in the state and the continued increase on the assessed valuation of people's homes are the prime driver of the skyrocketing increase in property taxes over the past few years. However, the often overlooked personal property taxes on motor vehicles account for roughly 12% of all property taxes in the state. 12% out of the around $6 billion in total collected property taxes in 2007 is quite a lot of money.
The property tax on motor vehicles is also the one form of property tax that affects nearly every Missouri family. Not every person owns their own home or farm, many Missourians are renters, but almost every family has at least car or truck in it. That means any changes to the property tax on motor vehicles would immediately and directly affect all of Missouri.
I am mentioning the burden that personal property tax lays on Missourians today because there is a bill that has been filed in the House that would do away with all personal property tax on qualified motor vehicles. HB 1377 has been filed by Representative Portwood and it would gradually reduce, and then finally eliminate, all personal property taxes on certain vehicles by 2012. The vehicles that this legislation would remove the tax on would be your basic car and truck, in other words tractors, semi trailers, deliver vans are not included. However, HB 1377 does include eliminating the tax on recreational vehicles in addition to cars and trucks.
When the General Assembly looks at the issue of property tax reform this session I think that is important for us not to forget to look at removing the property tax on motor vehicles. This type of tax cut would provide immediate help to nearly all Missouri families because nearly every family has a car or truck. With gas prices at all time highs Missourians could use that extra income to help pay for the cost of using their car or truck.
The personal property tax on motor vehicles is only one aspect of the property tax problem, but I think it is an often overlooked one. When the General Assembly looks at reforming the property tax system I want them to study all aspects of property taxes. This includes the tax on owning your car or truck. I can assure you that this issue will be taken into consideration as we work to lessen the property tax burden on all Missourians.