Governor Nixon has launched a statewide attack on a series of Republican tax cuts enacted at the end of the legislative session, emphasizing his calculations of the damage the cuts will do to local services.
Nixon is going from town to town emphasizing his budget office’s calculations that the sales and other tax cuts enacted in the last eight hours of the session will take more than 350-mililon dollars out of city and county budgets. Although supporters of the cuts charge some of Nixon’s estimates are based on wrong assumptions, he maintains they’ll force cutbacks in local sales tax financing of police and fire services, libraries, ambulance and snowplow services, and other services financed by local sales taxes.
That’s in addition to an estimated 425-million dollar cut in revenue to pay for state programs and services.
House Speaker Tim Jones says the cuts will allow businesses to invest more in their operations and calls the cuts “much-needed clarifications” of tax laws. He criticizes the Governor for referring to them as a “special interest spending spree” by the legislature.
Nixon’s not buying Jones’ assessment. “If these things are so important, why didn’t they account for them in the budget?…If giving special tax breaks to personal seat license owners is a way to build the economy for the future, then why didn’t they put bills in and have hearings about them and talk about the fact that you’re going to build the economy of the future based on giving special tax breaks to people who can afford personal seat licenses at stadiums,” he says.
Nixon says he’ll have to make budget reductions within the next month because of the anticipated loss of state revenue. He says everything but construction of a new Fulton state mental hospital is in play.
He’s not ruling out vetoes but says he has to take budget actions before the deadline to make those decisions.
The Governor’s budget office calculations of the impact ot the cuts on state and local budgets, by category:
Check the figures compiled by the Governor’s budget office for your community/county: