There will be more than a casual focus on Jefferson City beginning Wednesday when the annual veto session of the Missouri General Assembly convenes. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed 29 bills. The one receiving the most attention is HB 253, the tax cut bill.
If Republicans can’t garner enough support to override the veto, it will be dead. It has been reported that there are enough Republicans to join ranks with Democrats to uphold the veto.
There’s been ample publicity on the legislation. The governor’s chief reason for a veto is that he believes it will impact seniors and education, and other state services.
The tax cuts percentagewise are not that great. However the total impact amounts to considerable dollars. No one can estimate the exact dollar amount because it depends on the economy and how it affects individual taxpayers, corporation and small business.
It will hit seniors and students by repealing a sales tax exemption on prescription medicine and textbooks. Again, it has been reported that lawmakers didn’t intend for that to happen and say they can correct that miscue. Have we heard that before?
Proponents say it will bring more business to Missouri, thus creating more jobs. Taxes are only one factor in industrial and commercial development. There are many others, such as available shovel-ready sites with the necessary infrastructure, existing vacant industrial buildings, educational programs, transportation, nearness to a major airport, hospital and availability of doctors, including specialists, quality of life and recreational facilities to name major considerations.
Lost in the debate on this issue is that Missouri already is a low tax state. House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, doesn’t mention that fact in an opinion piece he authored. He is a strong opponent of the override. His lack of experience is obvious.
HB 253 leans toward the wealthy who would benefit the most under this legislation.
The bill is poorly crafted like other bills that are coming out of the General Assembly. We agree with the governor’s veto. We hope it stands.