Look for a renewal of the fight about tax loopholes in this year’s Legislature, with the disagreement about whether they are good or bad, in the eye of the beholder.Governor Bob Holden argues some corporations exploit a loophole in state tax law to avoid paying corporate income taxes in Missouri. He tried to get the Legislature to close some of the loopholes last year but got nowhere. A special tax study committee has looked at that issue and others since then. Representative Shannon Cooper ofClinton, a Republican, objects to calling tax breaks “loopholes.” He says those who are being criticized are just using legal means to avoid paying taxes to Missouri. He says the Legislature needs to be talking about changing the corporate taxes, not crying about some loophole that some people perceive. But Columbia SenatorKen Jacob, a Democrat, says they might be legal but that does not mean it’s proper or fair for them to continue. Jacob says corporations that use what he calls loopholesuse state services and facilities the same as individual citizens do, but individual citizens can’t hire squads of accountants and lawyers to find ways to avoid payingtaxes. The disagreement will spread to the legislative floor in a few days. The session begins Wednesday.
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