The Missouri Design for Conservation Sales Tax

What is it?

The Design for Conservation Sales Tax is a 1/8th of a cent sales tax that goes directly to support fish, forest and wildlife conservation efforts through the Missouri Department of Conservation.  That is one penny goes for conservation efforts out of every $8 dollars of taxable goods.  In the early 1970's Missouri citizen's petitioned to have the tax placed on the ballot.  The tax passed and was implemented in 1976.  In 1999 state officials attempted to divert the money from the conservation tax to pay refunds to taxpayers.  The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the state's 1/8 percent conservation sales tax must be used only for conservation and cannot be considered part of the state's total revenues.

 What is HJR 22?

HJR 22 is a bill proposed by Representative John Cauthorn to sunset the Design for Conservation Sales Tax. This bill proposes a constitutional amendment submitting the conservation sales and use tax for reauthorization in 2012 and every ten years thereafter. If passed this could have significant negative impact on conservation efforts in Missouri.

 Why should I support the Design for Conservation Sales Tax and oppose HJR 22?

Missouri's conservation efforts are the envy of other states.  Many other states including Iowa and Arkansas have adopted similar methods of supporting conservation efforts in their states.  HJR 22 would fundamentally change  the way we support conservation in Missouri and have a significant negative impact on Missouri conservation.  
Missouri’s economy and quality of life are built on our forests, fish and wildlife resources. 
  • More than $11 billion is generated each year by conservation-related activities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife watching and forest products.
  • More than $60 of economic activity is generated for each dollar in the MDC annual budget.
  • More than 95,000 Missouri jobs are supported by conservation-related activities.
  • Healthy fish, forests and wildlife make our communities better places to live and work.
  • 1 in 4 Missouri tourism dollars is spent on fish, forest and wildlife recreation. 
  • Healthy woods means cleaner waters and healthier wildlife.
  • Conservation funding is still less than 1% of the state budget.

What can I do to support conservation in Missouri?

Contact your state representative and state senator.  Tell them that you support conservation in Missouri and oppose HJR 22.  Ask them what their position is on the bill.  Encourage them to oppose this bill and all future bills that would have a negative impact on conservation in Missouri.

You can find out who your legislators are by entering your zip code here.  

Also, please "like" the Missourians for the Conservation Sales Tax on Facebook.  And report back what you hear from your legislators.  Together we can support conservation in Missouri.

Check out Jill Henderson's passionate article on the Missouri Department of Conservation.  Its worth the read!