Mo. SC declines county's request for refund of state sales tax at arena

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Aug 19, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) -- The Missouri Supreme Court, in a ruling last week, declined a county's request for a refund in state sales tax -- nearly $1 million -- at its family arena.

Saint Charles County, the sole owner and operator of the Family Arena, which hosts many events annually, petitioned for review of an administrative hearing commission's decision determining that sales at the arena were not exempt from a state tax.

After collecting taxes for several years on all fees, charges and sales at the arena, the county sought a refund in the amount of $922,856.68 plus statutory interest, for the period March 1, 2007 through May 21, 2010.

The state's Director of Revenue denied the county's claims. The county then sought review by the commission.

The commission sided with the director, finding Saint Charles County does not receive "all the proceeds" from the Family Arena, and the sales of merchandise, food, and beverages are not the type of items that are to be exempted pursuant to state law.

The county appealed to the state Supreme Court, which affirmed the commission's decision.

"Saint Charles County is not entitled to the sales and use tax exemption and refund it claimed," Judge George W. Draper III wrote in a six-page decision for a unanimous court.

"Saint Charles County did not receive or benefit from 'all the proceeds' from the Family Arena because it did not present clear and unequivocal proof that it met the requirements of section 144.030.2(17) to be entitled to an exemption."

To read the complete opinion, click here.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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