SENATE APPROVES TAX ON ILLICIT DRUGS
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) -- Illegal drug dealers would have to pay taxes on
their contraband under a bill given Senate approval on Wednesday.
The drug tax was amended last week onto a bill that allows some agriculture
tax credits to be taken on a quarterly basis, which supporters say would
increase their value for farmers.
The Senate's vote returned the bill to the House, which passed it in
February without the provision for taxing illegal drugs. The House voted
later Wednesday to send the bill to a conference committee of House and
Senate members to resolve the differences.
Sen. Charlie Shields offered the drug tax provision, which he said has been
adopted in nearly half of all states. He said taxes on substances like
marijuana are rarely paid, but that putting the requirement into law lets
authorities pursue the assets of people arrested for drug possession.
"If you can't get them through the illegal act, you can get them for tax
evasion," said Shields, R-St. Joseph.
Under Shields' amendment, people could purchase required tax stamps for
their illegal drugs without identifying themselves. The revenue would go to
fight the illegal drug trade, including cleaning up methamphetamine labs.
The legislation also was amended to allow a tax break for those who make
home improvements to accommodate someone with a disability, and to provide
a tax break for H&R Block Inc.'s planned headquarters building in downtown
Tax bill is HB1182.
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