Eliminating the State Textbook Tax

Bottom Line

We are working to create legislation that eliminates the state tax on textbooks. 

Key Details

Legislation: TBD

Fiscal Impact: TBD

States with similar legislation: KY, MA, MN, MS, NJ, ND, SC, TN, WV


  • Textbooks are taxable in Missouri except when sold by elementary and secondary schools or by bookstores at postsecondary institutions. (The exemption for postsecondary students only applies to Missouri state tax, not local sales and use taxes.)
  • Students often use online retailers such as Amazon to rent textbooks at a cheaper price. Amazon calculates taxes on a product based on the shipping address. Therefore, this tax cut would apply to Amazon and all other online retailers that have the same company policy. 

Relevance to the UM System Body

After paying thousands in tuition to the university, students pay an extra several hundred dollars per semester in fees. After this, they pay for required textbooks. While students can get textbooks with no tax charged at the bookstore, many students order books through online retailers such as Amazon. This is especially relevant now, as many students are participating in remote learning because of COVID-19.