Will Kraus claimed a victory the other day. The Republican state senator whose district includes Blue Springs, Grain Valley and much of Lee’s Summit held an event at Extreme Gymnastics in Lee’s Summit to highlight a new law spelling that classes are not subject to the sales tax in Missouri.

“We thought we were a service, which teaching was,” said T.J. Rehak, Extreme’s owner.

He has about 40 employees, half a dozen of them full time. Some of the gymnasts who train there are at a high level, good enough for a few to earn scholarships.

“We’re putting a lot of kids into college,” Rehak said.

A few years ago the Missouri Department of Revenue billed Rehak for four years of back sales taxes for classes. It was more than $250,000, he said, and would have put him out of business.

“The Department of Revenue has really been on a rampage” going after such taxes, Kraus said.

Kraus got a bill passed to specifically exempt classes from sales taxes. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed it, but legislators overrode him on that last month, and the new law took effect last week.

“This is a huge victory for the taxpayer and businesses, but we’re not done,” Kraus said, citing a recent court ruling that a tax on deliveries is OK. There are also questions about memberships in such things as golf clubs. All of that needs legislators’ attention next year, he said.

“If we need to raise taxes, that needs to go through the General Assembly,” he said.


Open soon

Gates Bar-B-Q at 10440 East U.S. 40 in Independence is tentatively set to reopen with a new and bigger restaurant on Nov. 18. The former facility burned down in early 2015. … Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, at 4661 S. Cochise Court next to Main Event in Independence, opens Oct. 31. The company says it will have about 100 employees. … El Savor has a sign out front saying it opens Dec. 1 in the old Lucia’s La Taquera at 600 East U.S. 24 in Independence.


Open for holiday

A couple of high-profile shopping destinations in the metro are making a point of not being open on Thanksgiving, but Independence Center is not one of them. The Legends Outlets and the Oak Park Mall will be closed for the holiday. Independence Center will be open from 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day until 1 a.m. and then reopen at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. It says individual stores don’t have to open on Thanksgiving but most do.


Open question

We asked on Facebook for thoughts on a good candidate to take over the closed Logan’s Steakhouse site at Jackson Drive and 39th Street, a prime spot in Independence. Readers are pretty consistent whenever this subject comes up. Among the dozens of responses: P.F. Chang’s, Joe’s Kansas City, Gates Bar-B-Q, Jack Stack Barbecue, Spin Pizza, White Castle, Whataburger, In-n-Out Burger (those are mostly on the West Coast) Texas Roadhouse, the ever-popular Lambert’s (the throwed rolls people) and something called Mellow Mushroom Pizza (there are none closer than St. Louis). Will a corporate site selector listen? We’ll see.


Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s business editor and reporter. Reach him at 816-350-6313 or jeff.fox@examiner.net. Follow him on Twitter @FoxEJC.