New Year, New Laws: Minimum wage, taxes, homeless camping



At the start of the New Year, several new laws and taxes will impact Missourians.

Minimum wage increases

The minimum wage in Missouri increased to $12 an hour starting Jan. 1. This is thanks to Proposition B, passed by Missouri voters in 2018.

Under Prop B, minimum wage increased by 85 cents per hour for the past seven years. This is the last year.

The new minimum wage is over $4 more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which has not changed since 2009.

Several other states are also raising their minimum wages. According to CNN reports, over half a million workers will see raises due the increased minimum wages.

Missouri’s minimum wage does not apply to public employers, meaning those in retail or service businesses. Employees who work for tip must be paid at least half the minimum wage per hour.

Income tax cuts

The largest income tax cuts in state history go into effect in 2023.

A bill was passed and signed into law during the 2022 special legilsative session that reduces income tax for Missourians. The top rate will drop from 5.3% to 4.95% this month.

The income-tax cut is expected to cost the state about $1 billion, according to lawmakers’ estimates. Critics say it will strip from the state money that would be well spent on social programs and the cuts will mainly benefit the wealthy, while some Republicans wanted to see further cuts.

Wayfair taxes

A tax on internet goods bought from out-of-state retailers was approved by voters in Columbia and Boone County. The tax is known as the Wayfair Tax.

The United States Supreme Court set the percent for an internet sales tax in South Dakota v. Wayfair. The court ruled states can tax out-of-state e-commerce companies.

An additional 1.75% for Boone County residents and 2% for Columbia residents will be added to things bought online from out of Missouri.

Homeless camping on state land

Starting Jan. 1, it is a misdemeanor to sleep on state land, such as under a highway or in a state park. After a warning, violators could face up to 15 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Political subdivisions, which can be cities or counties, have to enforce the law or they may lose access to state funds for homeless shelters.

Lawsuits have challenged the law claiming it violates the single-subject rule, as it was tacked onto a bill about political subdivisions.

Columbia city leaders said the city does not recieve federal funding for its homeless shelters, and Jefferson City Police said it prefers to connect homeless people with resources than arrest them.


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