New bill would force drug dealers to pay taxes

Posted December 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm

by Brendan Cullerton

A House Democrat pre-filed legislation that would force drug dealers to buy taxable stamps in order to sell drugs.

Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, sponsored the legislation and said most of the stamps would not be sold to criminals.

“The experience of states that have this program is stamps are mostly sold to collectors,” Roorda said. “Criminals don’t buy the stamps because they’re criminals.”

A similar program already exists in several states, including Tennessee, South Carolina and Kansas, with mixed results.

“We actually have been getting about $1 million in revenue the last three years from this program,” said Jeannine Koranda, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Revenue.

Tennessee has actually lost revenue from the program during the last three years, according to its Department of Revenue records. Spokesman Billy Trout said this is because the state Supreme Court has awarded refunds to people who were taxed in prior years.

The states make the most money from penalties enforced when someone is caught with drugs without stamps.

“Of the $1.3 million we collected in 2011, only $600 was from selling stamps,” Koranda said.

Roorda said the goal of the bill is to not only increase the revenue to the state, but also to combat Missouri’s drug problem.

“We’re famous for our methamphetamine problem,” Roorda said. “In the St. Louis and Kansas City suburbs we’ve had an explosion of this China White Heroin that is killing kids every day.”