One reason state government is struggling to pay its bills is because it is not collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes every year — and has not wanted to collect them.
Missouri has 61 programs that let companies and organizations keep some of their taxes if they apply those taxes to economic development projects. Those tax credits cost the state almost 630-million dollars in the last fiscal year. Officials have questioned for years whether the state gets its money’s worth.
Governor Nixon is re-convening the bipartisan tax credit review commission. Former Senate appropriations chairman Chuck Gross will return as commission co-chairman. Two years ago the commission questioned whether the tax credits produced a good return on investments and recommended eliminating 28 tax credit programs and changing 30 more to produce a better return on the state’s investment. The legislature has talked a lot about those ideas since then but has done nothing significant.