"An Act relating to the determination of full and true value of taxable municipal property for purposes of providing planning assistance to the Department of Education and Early Development and the legislature, calculating funding for education, calculating school district participating shares for school construction grants, and calculating tax resource equalization payments and excluding from that determination the value of property in certain areas detached from a municipality and the value of certain property involved with oil and gas that is not taxed by a municipality; and prohibiting the imposition of municipal sales and use taxes on state construction contracts and certain subcontracts; and providing for an effective date. "
"While all municipalities do not assess this sales tax the policy needs to be consistent statewide."
- Sen. Huggins
During the course of business in the last couple of years, subcontractors in the construction industry, who work in some areas of the state, have experienced negative financial impact due to the imposition of local sales taxes on state DOT/PF funded projects.
In the case of a construction contract being awarded and a primary contractor doing business with the state, the state is the purchaser of those services and, as such, the legal incidence for the tax falls on the state. Based on the state's sovereign immunity and the fact that the state is immune from taxation no tax is owed.
However, when a subcontract is awarded and a primary contractor hires another contractor to do work for him, the subcontractor is not working directly for the state, but for the original contractor, and in some cases a sales tax has been levied on the value of the subcontract.
In one instance, on an Airport Project, a construction contract was awarded to Quality Asphalt Paving (QAP). QAP and Dimond Electric entered into a subcontract directly in connection with the project funded under the construction contract. Dimond Electric was assessed a sales tax of over $20,000 on the value of their subcontract. This tax was unexpected and not considered in their bid.
The state cannot afford to have an increase in the cost of construction projects due to the levying of sales taxes on state construction contracts or subcontracts directly awarded in connection with the project funded under the construction contract. While all municipalities do not assess this sales tax the policy needs to be consistent statewide.
SB 158 will prohibit the imposition of municipal sales and use tax on state construction contracts and certain subcontracts and remedy the inequity that exists.