Veto session is fast approaching. Once again, the legislature and the governor have differing views of how to fund the vital operations of our state as well as some other areas of state policy. I want to take a bit of time this week to look at some of the tax bills coming up for override consideration on September 10.
More Analysis of the Tax Clarification Bills Approved by the General Assembly
In the weeks that have passed since the 2014 legislative session ended the governor has spent his time working against several tax clarification bills approved by the House and Senate. These are bills he vetoed by claiming they would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars, and he has spent countless hours traveling around the state to push this idea to local government leaders and school administrators. These numbers have been accepted as fact by many, but those of us in the legislature know that the governor has greatly exaggerated the fiscal impact of the bills in an effort to sustain his vetoes.
Now, one of our state's leading business groups has come forward with analysis of the bills we passed that directly refutes the governor's claims. Associated Industries of Missouri and the Taxpayers Research Institute of Missouri worked together to produce a "reality check" on the true cost and benefit of seven bills vetoed by Governor Nixon. The governor has claimed the bills would take more than $425 million out of the state budget, and more than $351 million dollars away from local tax collections. Analysis by AIM and the Taxpayers Research Institute shows these numbers cannot be supported by fact-based examination.
In their analysis, the two groups determined: "The cost to state and local budgets due to the package of seven bills will be less than $20 million and may in fact result in protection from tax losses from refund claims by providing needed clarification of existing statutes. The components of this legislation will also help Missouri attract employee intensive data center operations, and enhance revenues by keeping dance instruction and gymnastic center employers in business."
To further emphasize their position, AIM president Ray McCarty said, "In most cases, these bills simply clarify for the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) what taxpayers should already be receiving, which does not cause a loss to state
or local funds. The Office of Administration has exaggerated the impact of these pieces of legislation. The amounts were not calculated based on facts and reasonable assumptions at all."
I hope everyone will take both sides of the issues into consideration in the days and weeks to come. I know there is a lot of conflicting information out there, which makes it all the more important for you to read and research these issues so you can determine what you believe. For complete analysis of each of the vetoed bills, click the links below:
As I mentioned last week, the Missouri State Fair is under way. For a look at the remaining activities, please go to:
Also, Sweet Springs Gusher Days Festival is on the calendar for next week!
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City and Missouri. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.