February 7, 2016

Senate kills special disaster aid tax (AUDIO)

AUDIO: Senate debate 21:50The state senate has killed a plan for a special sales tax to help Missouri communities recover from disasters.   Kansas City Senator Jason Holsman had proposed the idea of a one-tenth of a cent sales tax.  “all people in the state of Missouri are vulnerable to a natural disaster,” he says. “This is truly a communal need that government serves.”

Holsman estimates the sales tax would raise $60-80 million a year.

 But opponents have argued the state already has a disaster aid fund—the Rainy Day Fund established after the 1993 floods.  Those who have voted down Holsman’s idea say the Rainy Day Fund has been used by governors to keep a state’s budget in balance when cash flow slows and none of the money in it has been used for disaster recovery. Opponents say there’s no need to establish a new fund when the old one has been unused.