Editor’s note: Missouri Baptist Convention Legislative Liasion and Executive Board Member Kerry Messer, president, Missouri Family Network, has analyzed the five statewide ballot questions that voters will consider Nov. 2. Churches and other non-profit religious organizations will not jeopardize their tax exemptions by recommending votes on various issues. While pastors may say who they are personally supporting, they, nor any church or church-related organization, can endorse specific candidates – only issues. The following is Messer’s analysis on the five Nov. 2 ballot initiatives in Missouri with his recommendation on how to vote:
1. Constitutional Amendment 1 – Vote “YES” to hold county assessors accountable. A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to require assessors in charter counties be elected officers. A “no” vote will not change the current requirement for charter counties. To see the full context of this proposed amendment, go to the official website www.senate.mo.gov/09info/pdf-bill/tat/SJR5.pdf.
2. Constitutional Amendment 2 – Vote “YES” to support disabled former POW’s. 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. Also, if passed this measure will decrease property taxes for qualified citizens.
3. Constitutional Amendment 3 – Vote “YES” to prohibit sales taxes on your home. 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. This amendment was proposed by a Citizens’ Initiative Petition..
4. Proposition A – Vote “YES” to limit your local government from imposing income taxes. A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri law to repeal the authority of certain cities to use earning taxes to fund their budgets. A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding earnings taxes. If passed, this measure will impact taxes by removing the ability of cities to fund their budgets through earnings taxes. This amendment was proposed by a citizens’ Initiative Petition. Go to http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010petitions/2010-077.asp to read the full text of this proposed Missouri state statutory provision.
5. Proposition B – Vote “NO” to defend Missouri against animal rights extremism! A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles. The amendment further prohibits any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets. The amendment also creates a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations. As great as this language sounds, the problem with voting “yes” on this amendment is that the domestic pet industry is already monitored with laws regarding all the above. This proposition is not really about dog breeders as it states, but it is actually an attack against all the freedoms of personal property rights and agriculture by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). This extremist group is determined to destroy our food sources and the enjoyment of animals as they play on the heart strings of voters. Their radical agenda includes threatening the eating of meat, wearing leather, the elimination of hunting, fishing, aquarium trips, medical research and the elimination of all domesticated animals and family pets. A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding dog breeders. If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes. This state statutory provision was proposed by a citizens Initiative Petition. Go to: http:// www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010petitions/2010-085.asp to read the full context of this statutory provision.