Parson signs bills restructuring tax policies, business liability

Gov. Mike Parson signed more than a dozen bills Thursday, including a handful that could bring adjustments for Missouri businesses. Among those are changes to the state’s corporate tax structure, business liability policies and local sales tax restrictions.

Parson, a Republican, plans to sign another eight bills into law on Friday and make a series of appearances in southwest Missouri, according to his press secretary.

On Thursday, Parson signed 15 bills, all highlighted below.

Sales tax

As part of a larger omnibus bill, House Bill 1291 expands the number of Missouri cities that can now offer voters the option of a sales tax to fund public safety. Proposed taxes must be capped at half of one percent.

Previously, only some Missouri cities had the power to vote on a sales tax referendum to pay for public safety. Some smaller cities, with a population between 4,000 and 4,500, are now allowed to bring the measure to the ballot as well, among them Centralia and Lebanon.

Corporate taxes

Under Senate Bill 769, lawmakers changed how corporate tax reductions work. Under the new law, whenever there’s a reduction in the corporate tax rate, there will also be a proportional reduction in tax rates for credit unions, banks, credit institutions and savings and loan associations. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville.

Business liability

Parson signed Senate Bill 608, which will enact the “Business Premises Safety Act.” The act assures that owners aren’t held responsible if harmful or criminal acts occur on their premises without their knowledge. Under current Missouri law, when individuals “substantially impaired” by alcohol or illicit controlled substances are injured or killed while trespassing, landowners can be held liable if they acted with negligence. This bill will remove that liability. It was sponsored by Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg.

Education Board, public health

Among the other dozen bills Parson signed Thursday are measures that will affect education and public health.

Senate Bill 743 requires the governor to appoint a teacher representative to Missouri’s Board of Education. The appointee will be unable to cast votes or participate in closed meetings, but otherwise has a voice on the board. The bill was sponsored by Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville.

House Committee Resolution 70 declared youth violence a public health epidemic, and was sponsored by Rep. Bruce Franks Jr., D-St. Louis. June 7 will become known as “Christopher Harris Day” in Missouri, in remembrance of children lost to violence.

The full list of the bills Parson signed Thursday is below:

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