Tarnishing Clean Pennies -- For A Good Cause

Jun 16, 2016

Credit wikihow.com

Sales tax on Girl Scout cookies, on sodas sold by band boosters at high school football games, even sales tax on tickets to public radio events: all are what are being termed “unforeseen consequences of the suspension of sales tax exemption.”

That’s the so-called “cleaning” of the sales tax pennies passed during the first special session, earlier this year.

“The idea is to put all these various groups back the way they were before that session,” Senator J.P. Morrell explains.

And despite the agonizing negotiations over raising more revenue, lawmakers are co-operating  to re-tarnish those clean pennies.

The Governor made it a big part of the call for this special session, and the House has approved one bill to do so, while Revenue and Fisc chair J.P. Morrell is handling an identical bill on the Senate side.

In the Senate Finance committee, Senator Jim Fannin had a question.

“I don’t see it listed--is this the one, or is there another bill,  that takes care of churches?” Fannin asked. “ I mean if churches sell food plates to raise…”

“I think that is covered in here, as the food plates,” Morrell responded.

“I see non-profits,” Fannin continued.

“’Sales by a non-profit, any which sales donated goods is provided’ – I think that would probably cover your church situation,” Morrell replied.

Senator Conrad Appel was curious about another type of sales that might regain sales tax exclusions.

“What is the definition of ‘isolated or occasional sales’?” Appel inquired.

“When you have someone engaged in a sale they otherwise would not do,” Morrell replied. “Like if you are an individual and you are selling your neighbor your extra lawnmower.”

He agreed that category is confusing, but assured Appel, “There’s a separate bill we’re dealing with, trying to define that.”

The full Senate considers this bill today, and will be looking at the House version early next week.