Missouri's response to last year's big tax cuts in neighboring Kansas could carry a $1.1 billion price tag.
A Missouri Senate committee on Monday endorsed a proposal to cut the state's individual and corporate income tax rates by 1.5 percentage points. The individual rate would fall to 4.5 percent, and the corporate rate to 4.75 percent.
Senate Republicans are looking to respond to Kansas' tax cuts, which they say have caused businesses to move from Missouri across the border.
Within approximately the last twenty years, Missouri ranks among the worst states in which the gap between rich and middle-income households has widened. That’s according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we also take note of the report’s finding in which the gap between the very richest and the poor is even larger with the top 5 percent of Missouri households having an average income 11.7 times that of the bottom fifth.
Sales tax holiday this weekend in Missouri - except for a few municipalities
It will be a big weekend for back-to-school shopping in Missouri as the state's annual sales tax holiday runs Friday through Sunday. School supplies, clothing items under $100, and personal computers under $3,500 are among the goods that will be exempt from the state's 4.2 percent tax.
Cities and counties can choose to opt out and charge local taxes, but as Missouri Department of Revenue spokesman Ted Farnen says many are taking part.
Officials at the Missouri Lottery have no strategy to generate an additional $35 million that legislative budget writers and Gov. Jay Nixon's administration had hoped would help avoid cuts to government services.
A Lottery spokesman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that its goal is to generate about $289 million for education during the fiscal year that began July 1. That would be an increase of little more than 3 percent from last year.
Missouri veterans homes are getting a significant boost as a result of new legislation establishing a dedicated source of funding.
Governor Jay Nixon attended a ceremonial bill signing at the St. Louis Veterans Home on Thursday.
Missouri currently has seven nursing homes which serve some 1,300 veterans. The legislation will allocate $32 million to the Missouri Veterans Commission annually, up from just $6.6 million, and will be paid for through per-patron fees paid by casinos.
Most of the big issues this legislative session were tied to the state budget, which has been passed and sent to Governor Jay Nixon. That has many political pundits wondering if the last week of the 2012 session will be anticlimactic. But as St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin tells us, there are still a few hot-button items left to fight over.
A chart which compares the amounts allocated for specific state agencies in the Missouri State Budgets of FY 2012 and FY 2013. Some 2013 figures are higher because legislators used precise amounts for some budget items. Click to enlarge for a better look.
Credit (Associated Press Data/compiled by Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)
The $24 billion spending plan passed both chambers with little difficulty, but not without some complaints. State Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) was not happy with language restoring a health care program for blind Missourians. He says he’ll file a constitutional objection.
With a Friday deadline looming, Missouri lawmakers finally reached a compromise on putting the final touches on the state budget.
The agreement addresses veterans’ homes, university funding and other sticking points: First, budget negotiators agreed to spread an additional $3 million among several universities, including Southeast Missouri State, and dropped a proposal to give $2 million to that school alone. Also, lawmakers will have to craft a Higher Education funding formula by the end of next year, which would be implemented in July 2014.
The Senate has made no progress on persuading Jason Crowell (R, Cape Girardeau) to stop blocking every bill in the Senate, including one to fund veterans’ homes. He says he has no objections to transferring gaming revenues from early childhood programs to nursing homes for military vets, but he won’t allow it or any other bill to advance unless the House strips more than $2 million in extra funding from Southeast Missouri State University. President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says other Senators have sided with Crowell on the issue.