The fourth version of a tax cut bill is in position for approval by the state Senate later today, despite a warning from the Governor that it has no chance of getting his approval.
Lee’s Summit Senator Will Kraus has tried three other approaches that have stalled in the Senate. His newest one has its critics but time pressures are helping to keep it moving despite its detractors. It cuts taxes by $450-million, about half as much as his original plan. Although it does not require full funding of education before it goes into effect, it won’t kick in for two years. The governor wants full educaiton funding restored during that time.
Kraus understands Governor Nixon saying the bill is a non-starter unless the legislature enacts tax credit reforms. “But there’s Senators out here that are opposed to that. I believe we’re going to do tax credit reform; I just don’t believe it is going to be in this bill,” he says.
Senate Democrats such as Paul LeVota of Independence think it’s a bad idea, no matter what, maintaining, “The 450-million still is going to hurt the things that we need to do. It will hurt education. It will hurt everything else.”
Kraus thinks another bill changing tax credits will pass this year. But he thinks including it in this bill could be fatal.
Governor Nixon has issued a firmly-worded statement saying, “There is overwhelming evidence and growing bipartisan consensus ont he need to reign in wasteful tax credit expenditures…Until the General Assembly takes action to protect Missouri taxpayers and reform this out-of-control spending, discussion of tax cuts is a nonstarter.”
The Senate leadership hopes for a vote this afternoon sending the bill to the House. A final version of the bill, if there is one, is likely to be written late in the session by a joint House-Senate negotiating committee.