Governor Nixon says the tax cut bill sent him by the legislature contains an obviously fatal flaw that will lead him to veto it. State legislators who say Nixon is misreading the bill and is using scare tactics are weighing what they should do.
Nixon says lawmakers might have intended to lower the income tax at the top level. But what they did to is eliminate state income taxes on incomes of more than $8,000. He maintains the wording is clear. “Senate Bill 509 says that once this legislation is fully phased in, the top bracket ‘shall be eliminated,’” he says. “The result of this provision is to wipe out 97% of all individual income tax collections in the state of Missouri.”
He says the bill would eliminate almost two-thirds of the state’s general revenue, forcing prisons and mental hospitals to close and end state aid to schools.
Some legislative leaders are accusing him of intentionally misreading the bill.
A retired supreme court judge and a nationally-recognized economist who has written the textbook on tax law differ on what the bill says, leading Senate floor leader Ron Richard trying to plot a course. “We got one learned man who says it’s not an issue; one learned man who says it is. So what do you do? You take your best shot and try to deal with what you think is your best interest,” he says.
Richard says the senate will do what it has to do, neaing an override attempt is likely.