Lawmakers Opposed to Veto of Bill - The Missourian: County

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Lawmakers Opposed to Veto of Bill

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Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:15 pm

Three local state representatives said Tuesday they disagree with Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a tax cut bill.

“I believe the governor got this one wrong,” State Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair, said.

Hinson expects that there will be an effort by Republicans to override the veto in September.

The bill was an attempt to let “hardworking” Missourians keep more of their paychecks, Hinson said.

Likewise, State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, said Nixon’s veto is “misguided.”

The tax cut would help small businesses keep more of their own money so they could expand and hire more workers, Curtman said.

Curtman said there is a chance to override the veto, but it is not a “slam dunk.”

State Rep. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, said it is better for Missouri residents and businesses to have those tax dollars instead of the money going to the government. It is “very likely” that the veto can be overridden, Schatz said.

Hinson added that the tax cut would be done in a responsible manner over a 10-year period.

For instance, the tax cut would only happen if the state saw a growth in revenue, Hinson noted.

This way the state would not be put into a financially dangerous situation by the loss of revenue, Hinson said.

He added that he feels there is a good chance that there will be enough votes to override the veto.

Legislators who originally voted against the bill may support it in the veto session, Hinson said.

Some who opposed the bill the first time may have lacked the information to make an informed decision, he said. Certain special interest groups opposed the legislation, saying that it would have drastically hurt the state’s revenues, Hinson noted.

Ill-Conceived?

In a letter accompanying his veto, Nixon called the tax-cut bill an “ill-conceived, fiscally irresponsible experiment” that would bring uncertainty into the state’s economy.

It would cost state government $800 million a year when fully implemented and jeopardize funding of education and public services, the governor added.

“The magnitude of the choice here is significant, very significant,” Nixon said. “Throwing a huge tax cut that’s sloppily worded with huge amounts of unintended consequences like raising taxes on seniors on prescription drugs and students on buying their books is not the way to move our economy forward.”

Moreover, Nixon said Missouri is already a low tax state.

To override the veto, every Republican House member would need to support the effort unless some of Nixon’s fellow Democrats can be persuaded, the Associated Press reported.

Under the tax cut proposals, there would be a phased-in 50 percent deduction over five years for business income reported on individual income tax returns, the AP reported.

The state’s corporate income tax rate would almost be cut in half while the top tax rate for individuals would be reduced from 6 percent to 5.5 percent over the next decade, according to the AP.

The tax rate reductions for corporate and individual taxes would be effective only if state revenues grow by at least $100 million annually over their high point from the previous three years.

Nixon’s administration argued the revenue trigger has issues because it does not account for tax refunds and would be based upon a prior year’s change in revenues.

Curtman disagreed with Nixon’s arguments that the tax cuts irresponsibly reduce the state’s revenues. In order for the reductions to take effect, there must be increased revenue to replace the lost tax dollars, Curtman noted.

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