St. Louis Public Radio News
3:43 pm
Thu June 12, 2003

MO Sen. Committee Expected to Reject Tax Increases

Jefferson City, MO – A Republican-controlled state Senate Committee is expected to reject proposed tax increases Thursday.

The Ways and Means Committee heard testimony Wednesday on seven measures that would raise more cash for the state. Supporters say the tax hikes would soften the blow of budget cuts to schools.

University of Missouri President Elson Floyd told the committee past cuts already have the UM system working with the bare minimum. "We will be able to achieve just a small measure of increased efficiencies," Floyd said. "But I must tell you we are really compromising the quality of what we do."

But Republicans say they don't expect any of the measures to pass. The committee's vice-chair, Sen. Dan Clemens, part of the reason for rejecting the tax hikes is baed on what he's heard from people in his district. "School administrators, hospital administrators, farmers, and small business operators are saying 'Hey, we like what you're doing; no tax increases,'" Clemens said.

Lawmakers are in their second week of a special session that Governor Holden called after vetoing a large part of the budget that passed last month.