Governor Jay Nixon (D) has vetoed ten tax cut bills that he says could have reduced state and local revenues by more than $776-million dollars.
Nixon called the bills “secret, sweetheart deals so that the well-connected can pay less, while asking all Missourians to pay more,” and said they reflect, “priorities that are dangerously out of whack.” He says they would “undermine local public services and flout the will of the voters by eroding revenues that support services like firefighters and cops, libraries and ambulance services, snow plows and health inspectors, public transit and road repair.”
Republicans say Nixon is wrong in his assessment of those tax cuts, and say they would have a positive net impact on the economy.
Nixon says because the legislature might overturn his vetoes he will make adjustments to the budget in case these bills still become law.
“I’ve got to assume that even though I’m vetoing them that I have to deal with them budgetarily. I don’t have the luxury of closing my eyes,” says Nixon, “So the negative impacts of these are going to be felt in the next few months because of the action taken by the legislature. I can’t not account for them.”
Nixon encourages city and county governments, who he says also stand to lose money if those bills become law, to also make adjustments to their budgets to account for the possibility that his vetoes get overturned.
“They’ve got to balance their budgets. The budget starts on July 1. Taking hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars out of local, voter approved levies must be dealt with by mayors, city councils, county councils, ambulance districts, fire districts, all of those folks now,” says Nixon. “They’ve got, just like I do … hard decisions to make right now.”
Nixon doesn’t say what actions he will take with the budget in relation to the ten bills vetoed Wednesday. That could include withholding money appropriated to certain parts of the budget, or making restrictions to some lines that are contingent on his vetoes being sustained.
Lawmakers return to the Capitol in September to consider whether to attempt to overturn any of Nixon’s vetoes.