Missouri voters could decide whether courts have the right to raise taxes under a resolution moving forward in the House.
The resolution, HJR 1 , tentatively approved in the House would prohibit the courts from imposing a tax. Two cases worry the sponsor: in one, a federal judge ordered increased taxes to end the Kansas City school desegregation lawsuit and, in the other, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the Kansas legislature under funded education. That prompts Rep. Joe Aull (D-Marshall) to ask whether the measure would prevent the courts from ruling in the current lawsuit filed against Missouri’s school funding formula. Rep. Bryan Pratt (R-Blue Springs) answers by saying the courts can decide whether the new funding formula is constitutional or not, but the key question is where does the state go from there. Pratt and others say the resolution would merely prevent the courts from levying taxes. Opponents, though, contend the proposal would undermine the authority of the courts. Another positive vote sends the resolution to the Senate. If the legislature approves the resolution, it would then go to a vote of the people.