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Missouri Offers Most Confusing Ballot Measures You’ll Ever See

Ballot Measure Cheat Sheet for Missouri Libertarians

by Aya Katz

Missouri Libertarians, listen up!

I live in Missouri. I am a Libertarian. And, yes, I am voting for Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. They are not my first choice, but my first choice is not on the ballot. Johnson/Weld are the best I can do at the moment. I am planning to vote straight party Libertarian, to the extent that there is a Libertarian candidate to fill that office.

But that is not all there is on the ballot. There are a number of ballot measures. Most are for taxation. And we all know that taxation is theft!

https://www.sos.mo.gov/petitions/2016BallotMeasures

Here is how the Libertarian Party of Missouri suggests we vote:

Constitutional Amendment 1, Parks, Soils and Water Sales Tax—Vote “NO”

Constitutional Amendment 2, Campaign Finance—Vote “NO” 

Constitutional Amendment 3, Cigarette Tax—Vote “NO”

Constitutional Amendment 4, Prohibit new Sales Taxes on Services—Vote “YES”

Constitutional Amendment 6, Voter Photo ID—Mixed Opinions

Proposition A, Cigarette Tax—Vote “NO”

Sometimes they try to trick us into passing a tax by telling us that it will not add anything to our tax burden. Don’t you believe them. Here is how the LP of MO explains it:

Constitutional Amendment 1, Parks, Soils and Water Sales Tax—Vote “NO”

The question is whether the State of Missouri should continue to collect a 1 tenth of a cent sales tax for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to administer a soil conservation program and to provide funding for Missouri Parks, the “Parks, Soils an Water Sales Tax.”    

Every ten years this question is asked of the voters.  If it passes it will not be asked again for ten more years, and if it fails this sales tax will go away.  This tax is in addition to the 1/8th of a cent sales tax that is collected for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The tax primarily benefits agricultural land owners and people who use the park system.  The sales tax is the most regressive tax there is, collected from even the poorest people who own no real estate and cannot afford to use the park system.  The parks were maintained long before this tax was instituted and will continue to be maintained without it.  The bureaucracy of administering the soil conservation programs through 114 separate county boards seems inefficient.

The ballot language purporting that a yes vote would not increase or decrease taxes is misleading and false.  If this fails Missouri state sales tax will decrease by a tenth of a percent. A “YES” vote raises the sales tax rate from what it would be otherwise. 

Limiting campaign contributions is actually a limit on free speech. It’s like saying you can’t talk more if you have more money. It’s a bad thing, because some of us have money and some have time and time is money. We should be able to have people who have not time but do have money fund people who have no money but do have time to work for the ideas we believe in. Here is how the LP of Missouri explains it.

Constitutional Amendment 2, Campaign Finance—Vote “NO”

There are problems with unlimited campaign contributions and the corruption that can be associated with political power influenced by these contributions.  Campaign finance reform will not clean up government.  The surest way to reduce influence peddling is to reduce the influence of legislators.   

The fundamental problem with limiting campaign contributions is the limitation of free speech.  Every individual has an unfettered natural right to the product of their labor and an inalienable right to expend that product as they wish. 

I don’t smoke. I think smoking is bad for one’s health. But if somebody else wants to smoke, that is none of my business. A tax on smokers is a tax on the poor, the badly educated and the sick. Shame on anyone who thinks that is okay!

Here is what the Libertarian Party of Missouri has to say about it:

Constitutional Amendment 3, Cigarette Tax—Vote “NO”

The libertarian philosophy is generally opposed to taxation.  There is certainly no justification for special “sin taxes”.  Good intentions don’t necessarily equate with good public policy.  This amendment doesn’t respect individual rights or fund services in an equitable manner.

We don’t need any more tax. A tax on services will make it hard to get services. It will make it hard for people to get their car fixed, their roof repaired, their child taken care of –even medical.

The Libertarian Party of Missouri has this to say:

Constitutional Amendment 4, Prohibit new Sales Taxes on Services —Vote “YES”

The purpose of this amendment to the Missouri Constitution is to prevent sales taxes on services like getting your roof repaired.  Realtors, for example, are in favor of this amendment because they are concerned that if it does not pass they may be required to charge sales tax on their fees. 

Amendment 4 would forbid the state legislature and local governments from enacting sales and use taxes on any service or activity not subjected to one on January 1, 2015.

The Missouri Libertarian Party platform on taxes reads, “Taxes remove revenue by force from productive uses, allocating them less efficiently, and provide the resources for political corruption and cronyism.”  Amendment 4 is a reasonable protection against certain types of future taxes.  As a constitutional amendment, the measure would require a vote of the people and will be more difficult to repeal.

There is no agreement on the voter ID measure. I’m against it. I don’t think we have that much fraud in our local voting system. I don’t believe it will help. On the second cigarette tax it is a no-brainer. Just say no to all taxation and leave people alone to do what they are going to do anyway.

I know we are all heartbroken about the national presidential election. But maybe it’s just a distraction. Maybe it’s a circus to keep us from minding our local business.

Let’s not get so fixated on the presidential election that we allow them to tax us some more! Taxation is theft. Almost everything they are asking for is to take our hard earned money from us and give it to someone else. And when the election is over, let’s make sure that not one politician who helped get those measures on the ballot remains in office! Because the other voters may be distracted, and it’s not fair to them to ask them about this, when they are so fixated on Hillary and Trump!

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