Kansas City club’s tax dispute goes to the Missouri Supreme Court

For more than 80 years, the nonprofit private club called Saddle & Sirloin has offered members equestrian services, shooting sports, trails, events and dining. But during the past six years, a tax dispute that has reached the Supreme Court of Missouri also occupied the group’s attention.

Founded in 1940 by members of the American Royal Livestock Show, Saddle & Sirloin originated at 105th Street and Mission Road in Leawood.

In 2000, the developer bought the land, which later became the home of Misi Farms. The club moved to its current location at 14401 Holmes Road on 320 acres south of the City of Martin and north of Loch Lloyd Country Club.

The dispute centers on state taxation of membership dues and the club’s efforts to receive refunds. A court ruling could determine whether another private club must pay state sales tax.

Saddle & Sirloin members pay dues in exchange for access and an ownership stake that includes the right to participate in the operation and control of the club. That ownership stake is at the center of the club’s argument that it should receive a refund for sales tax on membership dues.

The club argued that Missouri law does not treat dues paid to private clubs as taxable. The club is seeking a refund of $239,804 in sales taxes paid by dues from December 2003 to November 2006 and from September 2009 to August 2012.

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