October 25, 2014

Chamber, Associated Industries, disappointed in failure of tax-cut bill

Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a tax-cut bill has been upheld as the House fails to get enough votes to override. Lawmakers were not able to secure the 109 votes necessary to override the veto, coming up 15 votes short.

“We knew going into this campaign that an override would be difficult,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber President and CEO. “But we invested significant time, energy and political capital because we believed it was the right thing to do. Our drive doesn’t end with today’s vote. If anything, we are even more committed to securing tax relief for Missouri’s workers and job creators to keep our state more competitive.”

In a press release, Mehan said he hopes that an honest and open conversation can be had with those groups that opposed House Bill 253 to arrive at a workable compromise.

“We are looking forward to returning with our tax reform plan during the upcoming session.” said Mehan. “The Missouri Chamber believes that Missouri can support Missouri workers, job creators AND education. Missouri does not have to be for one or for the other. That narrow mindset has to end if we are going to move our state forward.”

Associated Industries of Missouri has also issued a statement, saying amid the failure of the override, it will look to the future.

“As the author of the business tax cutting portion of House Bill 253, Associated Industries of Missouri is disappointed by the failure of the Missouri House of Representatives to override the governor’s veto,” the organization said in a press release. “But AIM is committed to drafting a broad-based tax cut bill that the Republican majority in the Missouri legislature can support during the upcoming session.”

“Passing this kind of legislation is a process,” said AIM president Ray McCarty, noting that this is the farthest AIM’s legislation has progressed in the three years it has been introduced. “We are grateful to have seen the concept of a broad-based tax cut for businesses and individuals come this far, and look forward to its passage in the session to come.”

McCarty says AIM is open to working with the governor and legislative leaders to come up with a package of tax cuts that all can support.
“But we are not going to back down from our position that broad-based tax relief is necessary to keep Missouri competitive,” said McCarty. “It will continue to be our position that broad-based tax relief must include all Missouri employers, from the largest to the smallest.”

McCarty says AIM will watch with interest the voting records of legislators on a number of bills during the veto session, including House Bill 253; House Bill 650, which will ensure the long term viability of the Doe Run Mining corporation, one of Missouri’s largest employers; House Bill 611 and Senate Bill 28 which restore sanity to Missouri unemployment law; and House Bill 339 which prohibits uninsured drivers from suing insured drivers for punitive damages resulting from traffic crashes. AIM says the bill will still allow the uninsured driver to collect for actual damages.

McCarty sends a message to lawmakers that how they voted today will be noted.

“We want to see which legislators stand with business and which don’t,” said McCarty. “Their votes will be noted and rated by AIM and communicated to our membership. This is an important time for business in the state of Missouri. The actions of this legislature during this veto session and during the upcoming regular session will go a long way to determining whether Missouri will be among the leaders in a rebuilding economy.”