This Week’s Guest Column from Sen. Will Kraus for the Week of Dec. 19: Bill Pre-filing for the Upcoming 2017 Legislative Session

Kraus - Guest Column Banner w photo for WEB - 022212 copy 1

Pictured above: CW4 Rich Adams presents Sen. Will Kraus with his certificate of graduation from the UH-60 Black Hawk qualification course on Dec. 9.

As we prepare for the upcoming 2017 legislative session, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for those individuals who serve our country. For the past six weeks, I was training to pilot the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at the Eastern Army Aviation Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap in Annville, Pennsylvania. I graduated from the UH-60 Black Hawk qualification course on Dec. 9, 2016. In addition to the Black Hawk, I am also licensed to pilot the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Serving is an honor and privilege I share with my oldest son, Tylor, who will be deploying to Afghanistan after Christmas as a Chinook gunner. Our entire family is very proud of Tylor, and we are looking forward to spending the holidays together before he heads overseas. This Christmas, and every day of the year, please keep all of our military service personnel and their families — both here and abroad — in your thoughts and prayers.

During the upcoming legislative session, my office will focus on reducing governmental burden on businesses and taxpayers, protecting individual privacy and reducing government waste. The 2017 legislative session will open on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.

Reducing Governmental Burden on Businesses and Taxpayers

 Senate Bill 16Exempts delivery charges from sales and use taxes. In January 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in Alberici Constructors, Inc. v. that charges for delivery of a rented crane are subject to tax because the parties intended for delivery of the crane to be part of the crane rental. In effect, this case has opened the door to sales tax on delivery charges by changing how the determination is made that a sales tax should be applied to delivery charges. What SB 16 will accomplish is putting into statute the rule that was previously used by the Department of Revenue to determine how delivery charges are taxed. If passed, where reasonable delivery charges are stated separately from the sale price, those charges will not be subject to sales and use taxes unless the parties intended to include delivery in the sale price.

Senate Bill 17Phases out corporate income tax over three years. With a continued emphasis being placed on bringing businesses and investments back to the United States, Missouri must be more competitive if we want to attract those businesses and investments. The corporate tax in Missouri does not create a significant amount of revenue relative to the entire state budget, about 3 to 4 percent. Our ultimate goal is to increase job growth in the Show-Me State, and SB 17 is one way we can help market Missouri as a corporate tax-free state to new and relocating businesses. Currently, Missouri taxes corporate income at a rate of 6.25 percent. Under this bill, that rate will be reduced to 4 percent in 2017 and 2 percent in 2018. After 2019, Missouri will no longer collect corporate income taxes.

Senate Bill 18Modifies the law relating to business fees for those who serve in the armed forces. This bill waives certain business fees when a specified organizer, majority shareholder, officer, director or partner of a company, corporation, health services corporation, nonprofit corporation, cooperative company or partnership is either a military spouse or a veteran who resides in Missouri and provides proof of marriage, if applicable, and military service to the secretary of state.

Senate Bill 86 Clearly defines the definition of agricultural and horticultural property. This bill provides that the definition of agricultural and horticultural property for purposes of property tax assessments includes the real property of a vineyard and any building used in connection with the vineyard, including any building used for processing or storing wine, if the building is part of premises designated as a bonded winery and the building is not used as an event facility, tasting room or restaurant.

Senate Bill 132Lowers the income tax rate. Currently, the top rate of tax on personal income is being reduced over a period of years. Each year that a general revenue growth trigger is met, the top rate will be reduced by 0.1 percent. The top rate will continue to be reduced until it is lowered from 6 percent to 5.5 percent. This act increases the amount by which the top rate will be reduced. Each year the trigger is met, the top rate will be reduced by 0.2 percent. The top rate will continue to be reduced until it is lowered to 5 percent.

 Protecting Individual Privacy

Senate Bill 84Relates to the authorized use of cell site simulator devices. Current law prohibits the interception of oral and wire communications without prior authorization from a court. This bill provides similar prohibitions on the use of a cell site simulator device to obtain information from a communications device, such as a cell phone, tablet or laptop. A “cell site simulator device” is defined under the act as a device that mimics a cell phone tower and sends out signals to cause communications devices in the area to transmit information to the device.

Senate Bill 85Restricts the storage of data collected through automated license plate reader systems by government entities to 30 days after capture. Entities in possession of the data must purge all records and backup copies of the data at the end of the 30-day period unless the data is subject to a preservation request for an active criminal investigation or court proceeding, is kept pursuant to a one-year-limited published law enforcement organization policy restricting data to detectives or system auditors after the initial 30 days, or pursuant to a warrant.

Under this act, the sharing of captured plate data with federal government entities is restricted. The use of any data or evidence derived from automated license plate reader systems preserved in violation of this section cannot be received into evidence in any proceeding. This act also creates a class E felony for misuse of license plate reader information collected by a government entity.

Government entities seeking to install automated license plate reader systems must apply for approval from the Department of Public Safety. This act requires the department to promulgate a rule establishing a standard for the installation of the systems by Aug. 28, 2018.

Reducing Government Waste

Senate Bill 131Currently, most vehicles are required to have two license plates. Under this bill, the state will only issue one license plate beginning Aug. 28, 2018, to motorists unless the registered owner is eligible to receive a second plate.

For information on all Senate bills that have been pre-filed at this time, please follow this link:

 Join Us for District 8 Day 2017

District 8 Day 2017 is March 14 or 15. If you would like to register for this event, or for more information, please contact my office at (573) 751-1464 or via email at Will.Kraus@Senate.Mo.Gov. The registration deadline is March 1, 2017. For those who register, we will send out a detailed itinerary one week before the event.

 We Want to Hear from You

Join the conversation and follow me on Twitter @SenWillKraus. Pease feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and will try to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at (573) 751-1464, or email at Will.Kraus@Senate.Mo.Gov.

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list for this report, please reply to this email with “remove from list” in the subject line. Thank you.

Senator Will Kraus serves Eastern Jackson County in the 8th State Senatorial District.