The Missouri Legislature has voted to override Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a tax deduction for farmers who receive federal disaster or emergency aid payments.
Democrats, including State Rep. Tracy McCreery (D-Olivette), warn the measure will cause a $50 million budget shortfall.
“Allowing farmers and those who experience income losses during that D4 drought to go back retroactively and get income tax relief is going to have a huge, I don’t even know how we would close this gap,” McCreery said on the House floor.
A D4 drought is the highest possible level in the U.S. Drought Monitor’s severity classification.
Under the bill, the deduction would be available for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.
Republicans like State Rep. Joe Don McGaugh (R-Carrollton) disagree with the estimate from McCreery and Governor Nixon. McGaugh urged his House colleagues to override the veto, saying Missouri’s cattle industry has a $4 billion impact.
“These cattle farmers, I can tell you what they’re going to do with this break, if you want to call it that,” McGaugh told the House. “They’re going to buy more cows. They’re going to buy feed from our local feed stores. They’re going to buy vehicles, tractors, farm equipment, fence supply.”
McGaugh pushed the measure, along with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bill Reiboldt (R-Neosho). The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association supported the override. The House voted 112-38 to override Nixon’s veto on Wednesday, and the Senate vote was 24-6.
Before the vote, Governor Nixon warned “executive action will be necessary to balance the budget” if the bill becomes law.