Columbia, IL (KSDK) - If you live in Missouri, listen up! You can save hundreds of dollars on your next car, but you have to act quickly. A temporary tax loophole may send you to buy your next car in Illinois.
Columbia, Illinois' car dealerships are seeing an unexpected bump in business.
"We're seeing a steady trickle in customers coming in," said George Weber Chevrolet General Manager Dave Vogel.
The Weber Chevrolet and Royal Gate Dodge dealerships are just five minutes from Missouri. But right now that five minutes is adding up to hundreds in savings for Missouri drivers.
"They were surprised," said Royal Gate General Manager Joe Perniciaro. "They were probably as surprised as we were that they got that advantage just by crossing the bridge."
You see, there's a small loophole in the tax code, thanks to a recent ruling from the Missouri Supreme Court. It basically allows Missouri residents to buy cars out-of-state without paying local sales tax.
"It's good for our business, but it's bad for the state of Missouri," Perniciaro said.
Lawmakers quickly figured that out. And right now, they're rushing to close that loophole by pushing a bill through the senate. Royal Gate and George Weber both have Missouri locations, so they see both sides to the story.
"Being a both Missouri and Illinois dealer, we had our Creve Coeur location talk to the legislature, talk to the department of revenue about getting this back to normal and creating a level playing field," Vogel said.
So it looks like that loophole's days are numbered.
"We tell all our customers that today it's available," Perniciaro said. "We tell them, we don't know how long it's going to last. We don't use it as a sales tool, like you gotta do it today, but we do tell them that the state is frantically trying to get it reversed."
The tax savings isn't available to all Missouri drivers. Some counties charge what's called a use tax for vehicles that are purchased out-of-state. To find out whether you can benefit from the loophole, check out the tax tool by clicking here.