The Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) ruled that drones used to survey farmlands were taxable.
Missouri exempts sales of farm machinery from tax. "Farm machinery" means machinery used directly and exclusively for farming and on farms. A taxpayer sold drones for farmers to use in surveying farmlands. Farmers used drones to figure out planting locations, map lands, and monitor fields.
The DOR decided the drones were not farm machinery because they were not used in production. The farmers used the drones to inspect their property. Inspection was not part of production, so the drones were not exempt farm machinery.