Sen. Mike Cierpiot’s Guest Column for the Week of April 1, 2019

Honoring Our Vietnam Veterans

On March 29, Americans observed National Vietnam War Veterans Day. This holiday, established in 2017, calls us to remember those who served during the Vietnam War and the sacrifices they made to serve our country and preserve the freedoms we enjoy for the next generation. We can never fully repay these brave individuals for those sacrifices, but I think it’s the least we can do to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

That is why on April 25, the Missouri General Assembly will host a ceremony to honor and recognize these individuals. Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are encouraged to attend. Official recognition will be provided to all veterans in attendance by the Department of Defense. To RSVP, Vietnam Era veterans are encouraged to register by April 10 through the Missouri Veterans Commission website, or by calling 573-522-4228 or 573-522-1421.

In other news, the Department of Revenue is now issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses. While DOR is offering these new forms of licenses, that does not mean you have to get one. Missourians will be able to choose whether or not to get a REAL ID the next time they renew their licenses. Depending on the type of license an individual chooses, there may be consequences. A REAL ID-compliant license meets federal ID standards and will allow you to board planes or access federal facilities; a non-compliant ID may lead to you being denied entry in the future. Even with REAL IDs now available, you do not need to get one immediately. Current non-compliant Missouri IDs will continue to be accepted for things like air travel until Oct. 1, 2020. With that date well into the next year, Missourians will have plenty of time to decide for themselves if a REAL ID is right for them.

Lastly, as you are probably aware, there has been some confusion regarding Missouri’s withholding tax tables over the past few months, affecting the amount of taxes an individual may owe the state for 2018. As this confusion is being sorted out, I would like to share that the Missouri Department of Revenue will not impose penalties for underpayment of estimated tax, provided that the taxpayer has paid at least 80 percent of the tax owed by April 15, 2019. The standard threshold is 90 percent. Other modifications will be done on a case by case basis. For more information, I encourage you to call DOR at 573-781-7200.

Please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about committees or sponsored legislation for the 2019 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at