Senator Bob Dixon Introduces Legislation to Overhaul Tax Code, Provide Greater Certainty to Taxpayers

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For Immediate Release:
Dec. 4, 2014
Contact: Eric Jennings
(573) 751 – 2583
Senator Bob Dixon Introduces Legislation to Overhaul Tax Code, Provide Greater Certainty to Taxpayers

JEFFERSON CITY — This week, Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, introduced legislation to initiate a comprehensive review of the state tax code and reform the Department of Revenue’s administration of the tax code.

Under Sen. Dixon’s taxpayer advocacy act, a Study Commission on State Tax Policy would take up a task last conducted four decades ago — examining Missouri’s tax system to identify it strengths and weaknesses and provide recommendations on how to improve the code.

“An antiquated, dysfunctional tax code undermines the overall health of our state and local government, our schools and our future,” warns Sen. Dixon. “Those who say the task is too hard, or cannot be done, have given up already. We should not allow political timidity to deter us from our duty to act before individual taxpayers and job creators pay the price.  This commission is the first building block. With a blueprint in hand, we can pursue a well-coordinated, comprehensive approach to reform, rather than an endless parade of more targeted initiatives.”

In addition to creating the commission, Senate Bill 15 also includes several reforms to address inconsistent administrative practices, including:

  • Establishment of an independent Office of Taxpayer Advocate, which will assist and defend taxpayers, to replace the current Office of Taxpayers’ Ombudsman within the Department of Revenue;
  • Amendment of state laws to make clear the right of Missourians to the consistent application of state tax laws, rather than arbitrary or inconsistent action by the Department of Revenue; and
  • Elimination of “notification by audit” by allowing new interpretations of tax law, whether department policy or case law, to be enforced only after public notice-and-comment and review by the legislature through the rulemaking process.

“As we seek greater clarity in our tax law, we must also make certain that the enforcement of our tax laws favors taxpayers, not the tax collector,” stated Sen. Dixon. “Serving on the Interim Committee on Tax Administration Practices, I heard firsthand about the damage that seemingly arbitrary or inconsistent policies are inflicting on individual taxpayers and small business owners.”

To read more about Sen. Dixon’s legislative efforts, visit his official Senate website