To The Editor:

Regardless of how legislators alter bills or try to dress up tax cuts, they will still result in a massive reduction to state services. A skunk by any other name is still a skunk, and sooner or later it’s going to smell.

Despite its changes, HB 253 will still cost Missouri more than $850 million when fully implemented. The cuts to services like education, transportation, and public safety required by such a revenue decline will undermine Missouri’s economy and make it harder for Missouri to compete with Kansas and other states.

When businesses decide where to locate and families where to live, they look at a state’s quality of life — things like schools, roads, and snow removal. If Missouri really wants to compete, it must invest in what families and businesses need to thrive: strong schools and affordable, top-rate colleges to educate our children and provide a skilled workforce, quality transportation to get to school and work and bring companies’ products to market, and safe, stable communities. Unfortunately, Missouri is already behind, reeling from years of cuts that have increased class sizes, jacked up college tuition, and left bridges and highways in disrepair. Further cuts to state revenue will only make matters worse.

Missouri is already a low tax state for businesses, so if tax policy were a primary factor in motivating business, then businesses should be flocking to our state. Instead of trying to match Kansas’ shortsighted tax cuts that resulted in a $700 million shortfall, Missouri should invest in what our state needs to improve its own quality of life.