The House will have at least three different approaches to tax reform to consider in this legislative session.
Representative T.J. Berry (R-Kearney) offered the tax cut proposal that last year was vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon, with that veto upheld after a summer of campaigning for and against it by supporters and detractors.
Berry has filed two bills based on the one rejected last year but with changes he thinks will make them more favorable to the Governor and those who voted to sustain the veto.
“We could go through this whole process again with about the exact same results. That’s why I sat down with the Governor’s office, I’ve sat down with the 15 [House Republicans that voted to sustain the veto], I’ve listened very carefully to what they’ve said to me and tried to craft something that has an opportunity to pass.”
Berry says HB 1254, “takes the Governor at his word and takes the things out that he objected to, whether that is the prescription drugs, the textbooks, the retroactivity. Take all those things and makes sure the bill is better from his standpoint and go ahead and pass it, put it in front of him and see if he is serious about tax reform.” That legislation also includes tax amnesty, which Nixon has called for passage of in recent years. He says HB 1253, “is really a little bit even tighter, and it is structured in such a way to incentivize job creation at the lowest level of corporations.”
Berry estimates the bill would cost the state about $125-million dollars.
House Democrats will unveil today a tax reform bill carried by Representative Jon Carpenter (D-Gladstone) that he says provides a larger tax cut to most individual Missourians but would be revenue-neutral for the state.
Carpenter says his bill would simplify Missouri’s tax structure and provide a tax cut to Missourians making less than $300,000 a year and to a “majority” of Missouri small businesses.
Carpenter says the bill achieves revenue neutrality in two ways. “One, we lower the deduction that you can claim from your federal tax deduction … secondly it asks folks making more than $300,000 dollars to pay a little bit more.”