Local school officials fear Mo. senate bill could hurt education funding

Friday, March 22, 2013
Sen. Will Kraus, R-Kansas City.

Slater and Marshall Public Schools superintendents are concerned with a bill recently passed in the Missouri Senate, which they say could drastically cut funding for education.

Senate Bill 26, sponsored by Will Kraus, R-Kansas City, seeks to increase sales tax rates by .5 percent while lowering personal and corporate state income tax by .75 percent over a five-year period. The bill would also create a $2,000 deduction for those making less than $20,000 adjusted gross income, add language to help with out-of-state and internet tax collection, and would create a small business deduction for pass-through business income of 50 percent over five years, among other provisions.

Slater Public School Superintendent Terry Lorenz shared his concerns about SB 26 at the Slater Board of Education regular meeting Tuesday, March 19.

"The negative impact that's going to have in education around Missouri is almost beyond belief," Lorenz said.

Lorenz said estimates indicate the bill could reduce funding for education throughout the state by $650 million up to $950 million.

He said education in Missouri is already not completely supported, with state funding somewhere between 90 and 92 percent of the amount required by the state funding formula. If SB 26 becomes law and another $650 million are cut from education, funding would be taken down to the low 80 percent, Lorenz said.

"In Slater dollars, roughly if you use that same sliding scale, it would have an impact of another $150,000 for us," Lorenz said.

Kraus did not immediately returned calls seeking comment. In a news release, however, he said he does not foresee Missouri revenues dropping.

"Most of the discussion around SB 26 revolves around how much it will cost the state," Kraus said in a news release. "Estimates are that, once implemented over five years, it will reduce revenue by about $477 million. Since we generally grow revenue every year, I don't foresee that revenues will ever actually drop because of this bill."

The bill passed the Senate on a 22-11 vote, with Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), who represents Saline County, the only Republican in the Missouri Senate opposing the bill.

"I just have some major concerns that when you are reducing income to the state so quickly, you are going to cut essential programs," said Pearce, who is chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

Pearce said he received some criticism from fellow Republican senators for his vote against the bill. He said it was one of the toughest decisions this year, but he is confident his constituents stand behind him on his decision.

"One of the things we discuss every year in the legislature is what the role of government should be and and how you are going to pay for it," Pearce said. "When it comes to tax policy, you need to provide the basic services the people of Missouri need without over taxing. Education is one of those basic services you have to provide."

Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg.

Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Ryan Huff said he was also concerned with the bill.

"SB 26 is bad for Missouri schools and bad for Missouri kids," Huff said. "This bill has the potential to further limit the funding available to Missouri public schools. Missouri schools are already underfunded by the standard set by the Missouri legislature."

In 2012, the state of Kansas passed similar legislation, reducing personal income tax, cutting income taxes for most small businesses and lowering the state sales tax. In his news release about SB 26, Kraus said Missouri needed to catch up to similar tax reform.

"If Missouri does not fundamentally change our tax policy, we will fall behind states like Kansas, Oklahoma and other neighbors who are reforming their tax systems," Kraus said in the news release. "The fiscal impact on the state as businesses and residents choose to leave could be devastating."

Pearce, however, said he was not sure a reactionary measure to what Kansas did was the best solution for Missouri.

"This bill (SB 26) is a knee-jerk reaction to what Kansas did," Pearce said. "Kansas is going to have some real problems maintaining those tax cuts."

Contact Carlos Restrepo at crestrepo@marshallnews.com

Online:

Senate Bill 26

on.mo.gov/10fvEfF

Senator David Pearce

www.senate.mo.gov/Pearce

Senator Will Kraus

www.senate.mo.gov/Kraus

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  • Well you get what you vote for. The Republican Party as a whole in every state is defunding education to give even more to their corporate masters. It is worse here in my adopted state of Oklahoma. I love my hometown of Marshall, and my home state Missouri, and am sorry for your loss.

    One day perhaps you guys, and my fellow Oklahomans will vote the rascal Republicans out. Just don't throw out the baby with the bath water; keep Senator Pearce, he is a throw back to what the Republican Party once exemplified. It is telling that he was the only Republican casting a positive vote for education. What courage!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 12:27 PM
  • Well Mr Oklahoma, if the dang democrats didn't run this country like a soup kitchen with all the hand outs and welfare or as we're suppose to call them "entitlements" to be politically correct, maybe we would have some money to pass along to the education system.

    Heaven forbid we quit giving all these lazy liberal everything for nothing and force them to get a job. That would benefit the country in two ways; first it would reduce the amount of money the govt spends on all those programs, and second the wages they make would get taxed so their would be more taxes coming in.

    Maybe I'm looking at it all wrong from a hard working, tax paying, proud Christian American stand point.

    One last quote from a good friend, "when the people that vote for a living outnumber the people that work for a living, the country will fall" Let's spell it out for you, yes it's referring to all you liberal welfare junkies out there.

    -- Posted by sw3177 on Fri, Mar 22, 2013, at 10:31 PM
  • Well sw3177 I am getting used to hearing spite and hatred of the less fortunate from a certain type of Christian that is so full of bile they can not remember Jesus' words " Mark 10:21-22 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions." Thus they turn their backs, and walk away.

    Then that type of Christian refuses aid to those they deem lesser than themselves forgetting, "Luke 14:12-14 He said also to the one who had invited him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

    sw3177 among those that you revile are nearly a million damged veterans of the misguided Republican Wars. I suppose the hating type of Christian will spit upon them too, along with the widowed, the orphaned, and the unemployed.

    Such people disgust me, and puzzle me for I can not fathom such cold hearts. I think that they prepare a permanent home much different than what they feel they deserve.

    Oh yes, and they say oh I am not talking about this group, nor that group, but only these. In their vanity they assume the role of God himself in judging which are the least of people, and punishing them with false authority.

    It is hard for me to do so, but I pity them for all that, and even more so because they are such fools. My one wish is that they would keep their evil words within the Houses of Hatred that they attend, and murmur only among themselves of their contaminating hatred. Only God may decide which of the poor are deserving of help, not such dregs as these.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 23, 2013, at 1:01 AM
  • Sorry I took so long to respond, unlike the ones we're talking about I had to work today. You can reference the govt spending at usaspending.gov.

    This country was built on the foundation of hard work, and the concept of you get what you work for. This administration wants everyone to be equal. I should not have to work my butt off to pay for an Obama phone or food stamps for all those out there that is capable but too lazy to work. Welfare, food stamps, HUD, WIC, MVCAA, medicaid, ect are an absolute waste of my hard earned dollars.

    Prime examples are the lady across the street that left her door open all winter and when asked she smirked and stated she didn't pay for the heating bill, or the guy in front of me at Patricia's grocery store that was buying steaks and other expensive food and then threw a big fit to the cashier when he couldn't put his alcohol on his EBT card. The best is a kid that worked under me that quit and when I questioned him of where he was going to work he stated he wasn't, "I'll make more not working" and "that his mother hasn't worked for years and she makes it by ok." How about all the moms selling baby formula they get from the WIC program.

    How can you not see a problem with the direction this country is heading, at some point we must stop the handouts and stop with the tax hikes.

    Before you go getting all crazy about this, I understand there are people out there that cannot work and need assistance, but I am referring to the lazy ones that choose govt assistance over working.

    -- Posted by sw3177 on Sat, Mar 23, 2013, at 10:25 PM
  • sw3 can you furnish some links that establish how many folks in this country are welfare cheats beyond the three, or four folks you know about? How have you determined it is a nationwide problem?

    Once you have established through reputable studies what you are surmising, you, me, and others will have some idea how much is being wasted, and how best to address the problem.

    I will patiently await your evidence. Thank you.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Mar 23, 2013, at 11:45 PM
  • News across, why are you making this a rece thing, I owe you nothing, you deserve nothing for something that happened generations ago. It's that attitude of everyone owes you something that has this country screwed up. When am I going to pay them a decent wage, when they become educated, act civilized, and quit walking around with their pants around their knees, and that applies to all races not just the ones we "owe something too".

    -- Posted by sw3177 on Sun, Mar 24, 2013, at 6:13 PM
  • I had posted the following on the politics blog, but it seems to fit just as well here.

    The thought occurs to me that the "Welfare Cadillacs" were consigned to the junk yard of history a long time ago, but have been retrieved by a million desperate souls who have lost their economic security, and are in panicky need of any available ride, no matter that it can take them nowhere. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Mar 26, 2013, at 3:12 PM
  • More corporate welfare less education. This sounds like a bad deal for our state. Someone please tell me Jay Nixon has his veto pen ready for this one.

    -- Posted by cheesehead on Wed, Mar 27, 2013, at 11:35 PM
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