Saline County Commissioners are reaching out to local state representatives urging them to back Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of HB 253, a tax cut bill passed by the state legislature earlier this year.
"We are not only concerned about education, we are concerned about the Hab Center here in Marshall and in Higginsville being drastically affected if this veto is overridden," said Northern County Commissioner Charlie Guthrie at a recent commission meeting.
Last week, Keith Schafer, director of the Missouri Department of Health, stopped in Marshall to talk about HB 253 and its effects on the Marshall Habilitation Center. Schafer said if HB 253 passes, the department would have to make several drastic budget cuts ahead of an anticipated $700 million reduction in the state's budget.
The Hab Center, along with several other programs and facilities, would be shut down.
"The other thing that concerns me is cutting funding for veterans' housing programs," Guthrie said, referring to one of the programs that would be shut down by the MDMH. "If it wasn't for the veterans, these people wouldn't be having the jobs that they have, and to slap a veteran in the face is pretty distasteful as far as I'm concerned."
Guthrie said the commission has spoken with Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) who voted against the bill when the vote came up in the senate.
"I talked to him (Sen. Pearce) at the chamber the other day in Slater and he was very concerned about how this house bill would affect education," Guthrie said.
As of Thursday, Aug. 8, Guthrie said the commission has not been successful in hearing back from State Reps. Dean Dohrman (R- LaMonte) and David Muntzel (R-Boonville), both who voted in favor of the bill.
"The commission has voiced (its) opinion... and asked them (state representatives) not to be part of the vote to override this bill because it will have a drastic effect not only in Saline County and Lafayette County but the entire state of Missouri," Guthrie said.
If the governor's veto is overridden during a Sept. 11 legislative session, HB 253 would lower the personal income tax rate by .5 percent in a 10-year period starting in the 2014 fiscal year. The bill would also trigger a 10 percent business income tax deduction on its first year, and a 50 percent deduction after it has been fully implemented. The corporate income tax rate would also be lowered from 6.25 percent to 3.25 percent in the course of 10 years.
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