Defending traditional families

Posts tagged proposed amendment

MFN E-alert: Constitutional Amendment 3, 2010 General Election

Constitutional Amendment 3
Vote “YES”
To prohibit sales taxes on your home!

Proposed by a Citizens’ Initiative Petition.  Go to http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010petitions/2010-046.asp in order to read the full text of this proposed

Missouri Constitutional Amendment.

Official Ballot Title:  (The summary question you will see in the voting booth)

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including

a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?

It is estimated this proposal will have no costs or savings to state or local governmental entities.

Fair Ballot Language:  (Additional clarification required by law, provided by Secretary of State’s office.)

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including

a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate.

A “no” vote will not change the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing a new tax on the sale

or transfer of homes or any other real estate.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Analysis: Contemporary debates over tax policy continues to evolve as the economy and government continues to diversify and complicate.  A more recent proposal that is garnering supporter is that known as the “fair tax”.  This idea proposes to eliminate the conglomerate tax system that has become so disjointed and over complicated as it has developed through generations of piecemeal policies.  Discussions of this idea focused on streamlining the entire tax code by creating a flat sales tax on all goods and services.  Some currently untaxed goods and services would be included in the new flat tax.

An unintended result of these debates have been new ideas for more piecemeal taxes on the part of those who oppose a “fair tax.”

While real estate owners face annual tax bills based on valuation schedules, there is no current sales tax on the sale or transfer of a home or real estate property in Missouri.  Due to the concerns that such a new tax could develop either as a direct result of a future “fair tax” or implemented sooner as a standalone ‘fee’ from tax happy politicians, this citizen’s initiative was born.

With the discussion of a new sales tax hitting the public square for debate, as unpopular as it has been, many Missouri citizens agreed that it would be better to create a protection now than later.  Seeing how many automobiles are on the road today with temporary tags is troubling enough.  (How many of those new car owners made financial plans to purchase that vehicle only to discover there was not enough left over to pay the taxes in order to get a license plate?)  What a disincentive it would create if new home owners, farmers, entrepreneurs, or manufacturers had to fork out tens of thousands of tax dollars before being able to take possession of their newly acquired properties?

Property ownership is much more than a bedrock icon of Americanism.  It is embedded in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  The third principle our forefathers understood as foundational to good government comes straight from Scripture.  God’s Word teaches that all men are created equal and have certain basic liberties that should never be prohibited by government.  The “pursuit of happiness” is a broad reference to property ownership as part of the complete meaning within the principle for each person being allowed to keep and enjoy the fruits of their own labor.

In defense of home and property ownership – please vote “YES” to prohibit sales taxes on your home!

MFN E-alert: Constitutional Amendment 2, 2010 General Election

Constitutional Amendment 2
Vote “YES”
To support disabled former POW veterans!

Proposed by the 95th Missouri General Assembly (First Regular Session 2009) House Joint Resolution 15.  Go to http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills091/biltxt/truly/HJR0015T.HTM to read the full text of this proposed Missouri Constitutional Amendment.

Official Ballot Title:  (The summary question you will see in the voting booth)

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require that all real property used as a homestead by Missouri citizens who are former prisoners

of war and have a total service-connected disability be exempt from property taxes?

The number of qualified former prisoners of war and the amount of each exemption are unknown, however, because the number who meet the

qualifications is expected to be small, the cost to local governmental entities should be minimal.  Revenue to the state blind pension fund may be

reduced by $1,200.

Fair Ballot Language:  (Additional ‘clarification’ required by state law to be provided to voters by the Secretary of State’s office.)

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to exempt from property taxes all real property used as a homestead by any Missouri citizen who is a former prisoner of war with a total service-connected disability.

A “no” vote will not add this exemption to the Missouri Constitution.

If passed, this measure will decrease property taxes for qualified citizens.

Analysis: Missouri is home to many veterans of our United States Military.  Those who have served in any of the various branches of military have done so at the risk of going to war and/or direct combat to defend your freedom to read this article.  Over the years many men and women have faced tremendous horrors and/or shed their blood while a great many have died in defense of the freedoms that come from our constitutional republic and the Godly heritage on which it is built.

The false slogan ‘Peace is Patriotic’ is a lie.  Peace is only the fruit of true patriotism.  The real essence of true patriotism is Commitment and Sacrifice.  Those who have made and kept that commitment deserve our praise and support.  Those who have paid the cost of sacrifice have certainly earned more.

If “the labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7), then one who submits 24/7, gives up personal gain, keeps the commitment that is demanded of a soldier, and pays the sacrifice resulting in their becoming a prisoner of war and a total personal disability – is worthy of their hire also!  And WE are the employer who benefits from their patriotism!

There are relatively few veterans in Missouri that fit this narrow definition that are alive to benefit from this exemption from paying property taxes.  However, no matter how many or how few, we the free men and women of Missouri should be more than willing to corporately pick up the minor cost of supporting these heroes.  We should, and I for one, are proud to invite all such heroes to come and live in our state.  What a small cost to share in exchange for having these patriots to live in our neighborhoods and available to our children and grandchildren as living examples of the costs of freedom!

Please vote “YES” to support disabled former POW veterans!

MFN E-alert: Constitutional Amendment 1, 2010 General Election (updated)

Constitutional Amendment 1
Vote “YES”
To hold county assessors accountable!

Proposed by the 95th Missouri General Assembly (First Regular Session 2009) SJR 5.  Voters may go to www.senate.mo.gov/09info/pdf-bill/tat/SJR5.pdf to see the full text of this proposed Constitutional Amendment.

Official Ballot Title:  (The summary question you will see in the voting booth)

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the office of county assessor to be an elected position in all counties with a charter form of

government, except counties with a population between 600,001-699,999?

It is estimated this proposal will have no costs or savings to state or local governmental entities.

Fair Ballot Language:  (Additional clarification required by law, provided by Secretary of State’s office.)

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to require that assessors in charter counties be elected officers.  This proposal will affect St. Louis County and any county that adopts a charter form of government.  The exception is for a county that has between 600,001-699,999 residents, which currently is only Jackson County.

A “no” vote will not change the current requirement for charter counties.

If passed, this measure will not have an impact on taxes.

Analysis: Missouri’s 114 counties, not including the City of St. Louis which is classified as a city not within a county and thus counted as a county unto itself, are classified under 5 distinct levels. Classes I-IV counties are classified based on overall valuations. All county assessors in these first four classified counties are publicly elected. Most counties are rated as Class III and those who reach Class IV have the option of reorganizing as a Charter Class County if approved by their voters. This approval includes the governing structures.

These Charter Class Counties have a greater detailed form of governance (which invokes much pro/con debate points). One of the negative issues related to Charter Class Counties is that under the state constitution they can allow the county assessor to be appointed rather than publicly elected. This has led to controversial property assessment methods being employed that many see as a direct result of a lack of public accountability. Const. Amend. #1 seeks to return these positions back to elected offices in order to enforce more accountability. Of the three counties with appointed assessors, St. Charles and St. Louis Counties have been in the center of this debate.

Currently there are only four Charter Class Counties in Missouri. These include Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis Counties, each as a part of the greater St. Louis City region. Green County (Springfield area) and Boone County (Columbia area) are Class IV Counties which have discussed but not yet moved to become Charter Class Counties. Jackson County in the Kansas City area is the only remaining Charter Class County in the state, but is excluded from the proposed constitutional amendment. (Jefferson County chose to keep electing their assessor.)

County classifications are provided for under the Missouri State Constitution. Requiring that all county assessors are to be elected by constitutional mandate would protect this provision unless changed by a future statewide vote.

In summary, county assessors in three counties (Jackson, St. Charles, and St. Louis) are currently the only ones not currently elected or answerable directly to their voters. Constitutional Amendment #1 will only affect two of these counties as Kansas City politicians managed to get Jackson County exempted from the proposal. Passage of this measure will mean that all of Missouri’s county assessors except in Jackson County will be required to be publicly elected. (This also removes Jefferson County’s option to appoint their assessor in the future.)

Principles of good government which stem from our Judeo/Christian heritage supports high accountability in public affairs. Recognizing that man does not have a natural inclination towards righteousness (“As it is written, there is none righteous, no. not one:” Romans 3:10; “there is none that doeth good” v. 12) public service requires higher accountability than personal enterprise. Thus holding all county assessors directly answerable to citizens rather than allowing them to be politically insulated from straightforward voter accountability only makes sense.

Please vote “YES” to hold county assessors accountable!