Tax Cuts

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

(Updated Thursday, May 29)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says that local governments stand to lose almost as much money as the state because of a final tax-cutting spree by the General Assembly before it adjourned earlier this month.

All told, Nixon said Wednesday, local jurisdictions around Missouri — from city halls to fire districts, libraries and ambulance services — could lose $351 million in annual sales tax revenue because of “a grab bag of giveaways’’ approved by legislators.

/ Claire McCaskill's congressional office

Politics can be a 24/7 occupation, as anyone with a cell phone, computer or cable subscription knows. It's not hard to find political news, commentary or just plain rants. They are everywhere. Sometimes it takes a little more digging to find the context, perspective or background on major issues of the day.

Once a week, our political team shares stories that gave them insight into the news of the day or perhaps just some reading pleasure.

Veto overrides

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House acted quickly Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a tax-cut bill that is estimated to cut the state's revenue by about $620 million a year when fully implemented.

The House obtained the exact number of votes needed — 109 — with the help of one Democrat, Rep. Keith English of Florissant.  He joined all of the chamber's 108 Republicans.

The House joined the Senate, which voted 23-8 on Monday to override the governor's veto, which he issued last week.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking crew this week returns to a “split show” format. On the first part of the show, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies discuss the expectations for the General Assembly’s home stretch.

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(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

With a new tax-cut package on his desk, Missouri Gov. Nixon has zeroed in on a new “fatal flaw’’ that his administration says could wipe out 65 percent of the state’s general-revenue income used to fund most state services and aid to public schools.

The details may be different, but the basic argument mirrors last year’s fight, when Nixon successfully killed a tax-cut bill by highlighting flaws that he said would cost the state's treasury – and the public – far more than the bill’s backers had intended.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A controversial tax cut proposal has been sent to Gov. Jay Nixon, after the Missouri House passed it late Wednesday afternoon.

Flickr/David_Shane

The Missouri Senate passed a tax cut bill, after two different versions were blocked by Republicans who opposed a compromise between the GOP sponsor and Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and some potential allies in the latest legislative battle over tax cuts stepped up their attack Thursday on two fronts.

Just as the General Assembly was leaving for its long weekend, the governor issued a statement making clear that the tax-cut measures that the House and Senate have been considering so far don’t meet his standards for approval.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A proposed tax cut that conformed to conditions laid out by Gov. Jay Nixon was radically altered Monday in an effort to move the overall proposal forward.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has begun debate on a compromise tax cut brokered last month between Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, and state Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to two separate but similar tax-cut bills.

Marshall Griffin, KWMU

(Updated 12:45 p.m. Fri., Feb. 14)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has unveiled a tentative deal for a tax-cut package made with some Republicans in the state Senate, but his requirements could delay when -- or if -- the cuts go into effect.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Debate has begun in the Missouri Senate on this year's attempt to cut the state's income tax rate.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Tax cuts and tax credits were the center of attention at hearings conducted by two Missouri House committees Tuesday night.

First, the House Ways and Means Committee approved this year’s attempt to cut taxes.  House Bill 1253, or the Broad-Based Tax Relief Act of 2014, would tie the state’s income tax rate for business owners to economic growth, dropping the tax rate by 10 percent each year if certain conditions are met, with the ultimate goal of cutting taxes by 50 percent. 

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has swiftly attacked a state Senate panel’s action to approve a phased-in tax cut that he estimates will cost the state $1 billion a year when fully implemented.

Nixon called it a “fiscally irresponsible tax experiment.”

When it comes to campaign financing, one name stands out: Rex Sinquefield. 

In 2013, an off year politically, the retired financier gave millions in campaign contributions — primarily to ballot initiatives and political action committees. Most of Sinquefield's money went toward an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of tax cut legislation. Sinquefield also gave hundreds of thousands of dollars for ballot initiatives, including one to curtail teacher tenure.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Democrats in the Missouri House unveiled on Monday their proposal to cut taxes, as Republican leaders prepare to attempt another major tax cut.

Currently, the top state income tax rate in Missouri is 6 percent.  The Democrats' proposal, House Bill 1328, would lower that rate to 4 percent for residents earning $30,000 a year or less.  Those earning just over $30,000 up to $300,000 a year would still pay a 6 percent rate, while the rate for those earning more than $300,000 a year would rise to 8 percent.  The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Jon Carpenter, D-Gladstone.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) says next year he's going to propose a Higher Education budget that's "substantially" higher that it's been in recent years.

Nixon made that promise Monday to a group of Higher Education officials meeting in Jefferson City, though he won't say yet how high his proposed budget hike will be.  He also suggested that his higher budget proposal could be rendered moot if this year's failed income tax cut legislation is revived next year.

Mo. House Communications

The so-called "Famous 15" Missouri Republican House Members who voted "no" on a controversial tax cut bill during last week's veto session are set to meet Friday to plan their next steps.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In the wake of the Missouri Legislature's failure to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a tax-cut bill, some Republicans called out the 15 members of their party who went against the leadership and the rest of the caucus.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If this past veto session were judged by the sheer amount of legislative activity, it was an unqualified success.

Whether it met expectations, however, is a completely different story.

Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has released just over half of the $400 million he withheld earlier this year from Missouri's current state budget.

In a press release, he announced that $215 million will be divvied up among K-12 schools, higher education, mental health programs and specific programs for training health care professionals in southwest Missouri.  Nixon released the money Thursday, one day after Republican lawmakers failed to override his veto of a controversial tax cut bill.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Missouri House has killed the tax-cut bill that had been the marquee legislative issue this year, falling 15 votes short of the number needed after it had been vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon.

But it fell to the state Senate to kill – by one vote – HB436, the bill that sought to nullify federal gun laws. The measure also would have barred publication of the name of any gun owner and, according to law enforcement groups, would have prevented any joint state-federal task forces on law enforcement issues.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Missouri tax-cut bill died Wednesday when the House fell 15 votes short of the number needed to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.

The final vote was 94-67 in favor of an override; 109 supportive votes were needed. The tally came after more than an hour of heated debate.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers will convene Wednesday for their annual veto session. Governor Jay Nixon vetoed 29 bills this year, including at least two bills that have been the subject of much campaigning and debate. Add in a Republican-led General Assembly, and this year's veto session has the potential to be of greater consequence than most.

St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin and Chris McDaniel have been covering the veto session, and gave host Don Marsh an overview of what to expect this year.

Educators Make Final Push Against Tax Cut Bill

Sep 9, 2013
(Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of educators criticized a tax cut bill today that could severely hinder schools in Missouri. They maintained that the bill, which Governor Jay Nixon vetoed in June, would cut revenue for the state by $800 million and result in reduced funding for education.

The superintendents from the Northwest, Washington and Hazelwood School Districts argued that the bill would have detrimental effects on their districts. Hazelwood superintendent Grayling Tobias said the bill could cause budget cuts for equipment and extracurricular activities, larger class sizes and fewer teachers.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The showdown between Missouri's Democratic Governor and the Republican-led General Assembly finally arrives this week, as lawmakers return to Jefferson City for their annual veto session.  Governor Jay Nixon struck down 29 bills this year, with most of the post-veto attention falling on two bills in particular, a controversial tax cut proposal and an even more controversial attempt to nullify federal gun control laws.  St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin takes a look at what may or may not happen on Wednesday.

(Flickr/Cast a Line)

A Missouri teachers union says it is spending at least $100,000 on commercials urging state lawmakers to uphold the governor's veto of an income tax cut.

The Missouri chapter of the National Education Association says the TV and radio spots began running Tuesday and will continue for a week. The ads assert the tax cut would benefit "corporate special interests" while "stealing money from our schools."

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

So far, there has not been a ground swell of support for the idea of a special legislative session in Missouri to pass an alternate version of the tax cut bill vetoed earlier this year by Governor Jay Nixon (D).

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The lead sponsor of a Missouri income tax cut wants Gov. Jay Nixon to call a special session so lawmakers can address some of the governor's concerns about the bill (HB253).

Republican House member T. J. Berry, of Kearney, said Thursday that he wants Nixon to call a special session to run concurrently with the veto session scheduled to start Sept. 11.

Nixon vetoed 29 bills this year, including Berry's bill cutting income taxes. Republican legislative leaders hope to override the veto.

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