Legislation that would reduce Missouri’s personal and corporate income taxes has been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee in Jefferson City.
The 442-page tax reform bill is sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, who says his bill would transform Missouri’s tax system to the most competitive in the nation.
“We’re very hopeful and optimistic, we’ve got a month left of session, we’re going to send it over to the Senate and see what kind of discussions we can have with them,” Haahr told the Capitol Press Corps last Thursday.
The bill was referred this week to the Ways and Means Committee, which is chaired by State Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau.
Haahr’s bill would reduce Missouri’s highest personal income tax rate from 5.9 to five percent, and also includes funding for the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges.
Haahr testified in March that his plan to index vehicle user fees to the cost of inflation would generate about $174 million annually for the state’s road fund.
A reporter asked Haahr last Thursday about State Sen. Bill Eigel’s, R-Weldon Spring, tax bill, which is now in the Senate Fiscal Oversight Committee.
“That (Eigel) bill is different from ours in a variety of different respects. The way they fund roads, the size and scope of the reductions in income and business tax and the way they pay for it,” Haahr says.
Senator Eigel’s bill needs one more Senate vote, before it would head to the Missouri House.
As for Haahr, he says Missouri’s current vehicle license and registration fees haven’t changed in more than 30 years.
Haahr’s bill also creates an “emergency bridge repair and replacement fund”, which would include money appropriated from general revenue for accelerated bridge replacements or immediate repairs to bridges that need it.
The House approved an amendment from State Rep. Bart Korman, R-High Hill, creating that emergency fund.
The Haahr bill was approved by the Missouri House on a 91-61 vote.