A proposed tax cut for middle-class Missourians has been described as an economic development tool and an incentive for people to get married.  But it’s in trouble as the legislature’s adjournment date gets closer.

St. Louis Senator John Lamping wants to give tax credits of $400 per child.  He has tacked the idea onto a tax credit reform bill that is stalled in the Senate with the clock running down in the session.  He’s leaving after this year but hopes returning senators pick up the issue next year.

Lamping says the bill has several virtues including a marriage incentive. “If you’re a single mom and you have two children and you’re making $50,000, you don’t qualify for the tax credit,” he says. “‘But if you marry and your combined income with your spouse is less than $92,000, then you do.”   Lamping says a marriage incentive is important at a time when 40% of children are born out of wedlock.

Lamping also argues that the credit would be part of the border war with Kansas.  He says comanies get tax credits to move from Kansas to Missouri, but people don’t.  This credit, he says, could prompt people to cross the line into Missouri, too.

AUDIO: Debate 35:09