Democrats mock the idea, but House Republicans claim they are serious about a proposal to cut the state income tax by half a percent.
Democrat Chris Kelly, a representative from Columbia, dismisses Republican claims that their serious. "Is this not in fact a completely imaginary tax bill?" Kelly asked during House floor debate on HCS SCS SB 71 that was approved on a party-line vote 86-66.
Quite the opposite, responds House leadership.
Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) insists Republicans are very serious about keeping more money in Missourians’ pockets. The bill would cut the state income tax rate from six percent to five-and-a-half percent. It now goes to the Senate, which hasn’t been as enthusiastic about the idea. Tilley says the Senate’s reception of the bill doesn’t matter.
"Let’s make it perfectly clear, the members of the House do not answer to the Senate, we answer to the people of this state," Tilley says. "And the people of this state, we believe, feel like this is the right thing to do."
House Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt of Blue Springs says that should carry weight in the Senate.
"So the best question to senators is that Missouri taxpayers support this are you going to support Missouri taxpayers?"
Pratt says Republicans believe in lower taxes and have put that belief in a bill.