Friday, October 05, 2007

Gov. Blunt Trying to Steal Credit

Gov. Matt Blunt is behind the curve on one of his latest toutings. Thursday, Blunt announced:

he is shining a bright light for consumers on Missouri businesses not paying taxes, launching an Internet site that lists businesses that have failed to comply with state tax law,
All well and good, except the Missouri Dept. of Revenue has had such a web site up for over a month:
Beginning August 28, 2007, Senate Bill 30 gives the Missouri Department of Revenue authority to publish the name of any business which has a revoked sales tax license. A sales tax license may be revoked for either failing to remit sales tax collected from customers or for failing to remit income tax withheld from employees.

The list will be maintained on the department’s website at
Senate Bill 30, sponsored by Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) and handled in the House by Rep. Bryan Stevenson (R-Webb City) cleared the House and Senate on May 16th and signed by the governor on June 13th. Specifically,
Section 144.083 would require a business to obtain a no-tax-due statement from DOR to obtain a local business license and would allow DOR to publish the status of a revoked business account without revealing confidential information.
So the Dept. of Revenue announces its web site listing businesses with revoked sales tax licenses on August 29th. KSPR News at 10 broadcast a story on this web site and some Springfield businesses listed on it on Sept. 11th. And now, on October 4th, Matt Blunt wants to take credit for the web site, saying "he is shining a bright light for consumers on Missouri businesses not paying taxes"? Riiiiiiiiiiggghhttt.

The guv's release also states:
The department has contacted businesses listed on the revocations site by mail or phone several times. Thirty days prior to actual revocation of a business’ sales tax license, the business receives a certified letter explaining its noncompliance with state tax law and the repercussions to occur as a result.
Yet, when KSPR asked the owner of Blimpie Subs and Sandwiches why he was operating without a sales tax license, he said he had no idea why he was on the list. Michael Clemons says he never received a certified letter from the state.

Watch the video. Clemons seems genuinely surprised. The DOR MAY be spinning. Clemons MAY be spinning. But for certain, Matt Blunt IS spinning, and trying to take credit for something he had little to do with.