Missouri Supreme Court hears arguments in Business Loop CID lawsuit

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JEFFERSON CITY – A Columbia sales tax lawsuit went before the Missouri Supreme Court Wednesday. The Columbia woman who filed the lawsuit isn't ready to end the nearly three-year battle just yet.

The case, Jennifer Henderson vs. The Honorable Jodie Asel, stems from the Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District’s decision to vote to increase sales tax in the Business Loop district by one-half cent in 2015. The CID approved the sales tax after a 4-3 vote.

Jennifer Henderson, a resident of the Business Loop district at that time, claimed the election in 2015 violated state election laws. 

According to a Missouri Supreme Court case summary, Henderson filed a lawsuit in January 2016. The summary states Boone County Circuit Judge Jodie Asel dismissed the case in March 2016.

Asel declined Henderson’s request to enter a final judgement of the case, and Henderson is now seeking the Missouri Supreme Court so she can appeal the case.

Richard Reuben represents Henderson and said Wednesday's hearing was about whether or not a Asel has to enter a final judgement in a the case. 

"We brought this case to challenge the validity of the Business Loop CID's sales tax election," Reuben said. 

He said his team has tried to get the sales tax decision appealed, but Asel must enter the final judgement.

"You need a piece a paper that says judgement on it, and the trial judge simply refuses to provide that document," Reuben said. 

R. Caleb Colbert represents Asel in the case. He said the case has to end eventually.

"There has to be a cutoff, the case can't go on indefinitely," Colbert said. 

KOMU 8 reached out to Henderson, but she declined to comment.