Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP Partner Chuck Hatfield and Kris Heisinger were successful in challenging the ballot language regarding Missouri's "fair tax measure." On Friday, April 13, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia S. Joyce struck down the ballot language, ruling the proposed descriptions are “insufficient, unfair and prejudicial” because they deceive voters with biased wording about the measure’s devastating cut of $7.5 billion in vital state general revenues. “Judge Joyce’s crystal-clear decision is a complete victory for opponents of the ‘Everything Tax’,” said Hatfield, who represents Missourians for Fair Taxation (MFT). “Judge Joyce agreed with the arguments of Missourians for Fair Taxation that the language being presented to voters is insufficient, unfair and likely to deceive petition signers and voters.” In her ruling, Judge Joyce ordered Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich to recalculate financial analyses of the measures and prepare new voter information about the financial impact of the proposed “Everything Tax.” She directed that the basic ballot summary clearly tells voters their “yes” vote will “instruct the legislature” to raise the state sales tax on things Missouri families buy every day, including a nickel sales tax for every dollar spent on groceries. MFT is a statewide non-partisan, non-profit coalition established to inform citizens about the devastating effects the "Everything Tax" would have on our hometown neighbors, our state and our economy. The Missouri Association of REALTORS®, whose 18,000 members comprise one of the state’s largest professional trade associations, launched the coalition after leading the successful 2010 campaign for Amendment 3. Nearly 84 percent of Missouri voters approved Amendment 3 to exempt sales of homes and business properties from the sort of massive sales tax schemes that inspired the “Everything Tax.” Hatfield, managing partner of Stinson's Jefferson City office, serves as chair of the Government Solutions practice group. He has extensive experience in government related areas, including ballot initiative petition process, state regulation, consumer litigation and administrative law.
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