A coalition of groups supporting the governor’s veto of tax legislation has made its case in the final hours before the legislature has its chance at a veto overturn. The Coalition for Missouri’s Future says allowing the bill that would cut Missouri income taxes to become law would jeopardize funding to the state’s public school and higher education.
Missouri School Boards’ Association President-Elect Doug Whitehead says the legislation, HB 253, would force budget cuts.
“There will be teacher layoffs, overcrowded classrooms and longer bus rides to-and-from school. This bill has the potential to halt technology upgrades, eliminate many after school activities such as sports programs and limit the variety of classes available to Missouri students.”
The President of the Student Association at the University of Missouri Nick Droege says a tax cut bill vetoed by the Governor “represents a threat to Mizzou and its students.”
“Higher education is one area that faces the deepest cuts and toughest budget times that we’ve seen time after time after time. With an $800-million state shortfall higher education would be forced to make difficult decisions that include tuition increases, cutting staff and faculty, decreased wages or even enrollment caps.”
Association Executive Director Carter Ward says the Association does not oppose the concept of cutting taxes, but calls this legislation irresponsible.
“The overriding thing is that we’re not going to put our state in a downward trend of financial support for those obligations that we have committed to Missourians through previous legislatures or through other policy.”
Whitehead says before discussing cutting taxes, he wants to see priority given to fully funding the foundation formula for public schools.
“That’s the law of the land and the statute and that’s what we would like to see happen.”
Supporters say the cuts in the bill would not kick in until revenue increases by 100-million dollars, year-to-year. The Coalition says that trigger only offers a false sense of security. Ward says the Association has no confidence in it…
“In fact that trigger doesn’t even apply to many of the provisions that are in the bill.”
The veto session begins tomorrow at noon.