The State Senate is on the verge of passing a major tax cut package designed to keep this state competitive with other states in business development.  Lee’s Summit Sen. Will Kraus says his cuts will amount to $450 million to $500 million a year and will keep more businesses from jumping from Missouri to Kansas. A liberal watchdog group, the Missouri Budget Project, puts the tab about $700 million a year, and says it will hurt funding for schools, transportation, and other issues.

Kraus has a totally different view.

AUDIO: Kraus :08  

Democrats, such as Sen. Jason Holsman of Kansas City, worry about what happens if the cuts don’t produce the growth that Kraus thinks will happen.

AUDIO: Holsman :27

The Hancock amendment will require a statewide vote if the legislature wants to reinstate current taxes.

The tax cuts would be phased in during the next five years. Individual and corporate income taxes will drop by three-quarters of a percent.  He thinks the five-year phase in, at the rate of about one-half billion dollars a year, is the right approach.

AUDIO: Holsman :09

But Democrat Sens. Scott Sifton and Jolie Justus think the cuts will just push financial decisions down to local governments.

AUDIO: Sifton & Justus :31 

Sales taxes would be collected on internet sales. If the bill passes the way the Senate has written it, people with incomes below $20,000 would get a $2,000 deduction.

The bill is likely to go to the House next week. Kraus thinks the House will make changes that will have to be worked out late in the session in a conference committee.