Tax Cuts | St. Louis Public Radio

Tax Cuts

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.

File photo | 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.

Rick Perry wants Missouri employers to head to Texas.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Texas Gov. Rick Perry exhorted like-minded low-tax conservatives Thursday night to take action to persuade Missouri legislators to overturn Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the tax-cut bill that has consumed this summer’s political debate.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Texas Gov. Rick Perry says his foray into Missouri’s tax debate is the latest in a series of trips around the country intended to continue what he calls “a public discourse about 'red state versus blue state' policies.”

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon is taking action against a radio ad in which Texas Governor Rick Perry encourages Missouri businesses to leave for his state.

Nixon’s campaign committee is running an ad that defends Missouri as a better place to do business than Texas on St. Louis radio station KTRS. The station previously refused to run Perry's ad. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With the Missouri General Assembly’s veto session just over two weeks away, both sides in the battle over the tax-cut bill – HB253 – have shifted the debate.

Instead of arguing over whether the bill -- vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon -- will help or hurt state’s economy, the debate now seems to center on whether it’s good or bad for Missouri to emulate Texas.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

While Governor Jay Nixon (D) continues touring Missouri to oppose efforts to override his veto of tax cut legislation, a group of business officials and political activists are trying to rally support for the override effort.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louis radio station KTRS (550 AM) has pulled the ads placed by a group tied to Texas Gov. Rick Perry because the ads encourage Missouri businesses to move to Texas, which has no income tax.

Office of TX Gov. Rick Perry

Missouri's Democratic Secretary of State is criticizing the Republican Governor of Texas for an ad campaign encouraging Missouri-based companies to relocate to the Lone Star State.

In one ad, Governor Rick Perry criticizes Missouri Democratic Governor Jay Nixon's veto of House Bill 253, that would've cut income tax rates for individuals and businesses.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In preparation for his trip here next week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has launched an unusual TV and radio ad campaign in Missouri that he says is “highlighting Texas' commitment to keeping taxes low on families and job creators.”

Texas doesn't have an income tax, but does have a higher sales tax than Missouri.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, recalls that when he was in the Missouri House in the early 1990s, then under Democratic control, then-House Speaker Bob Griffin used to joke that the small cadre of Republican lawmakers “could caucus in a phone booth.’’

Now, Graves notes, the tables are turned. It’s the Democrats who are heavily outnumbered in Jefferson City, and he quipped, “can caucus in an outhouse now.”

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A coalition backing the tax-cut bill vetoed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is bringing in a friendlier counterpart – Texas Gov. Rick Perry – as part of its campaign to persuade the public and state legislators to support an override of Nixon’s action.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is once again traveling the state in his continued efforts to defend his veto of the tax cut bill known as HB253. He made two stops Monday in the St. Louis area.

In Kirkwood, however, two prominent Republicans showed up to dispute the governor’s arguments: state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, and state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: United for Missouri, one of the conservative groups backing the tax-cut bill, --HB253 -- vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon, is posting a new video today on various social media sites. The video asserts the governor has a track record of misleading the public.

Entitled  “Nixon’s Deceptions,“ the video cites controversies during Nixon’s administration, beginning with the 2009 flap over closing some state beaches because of E. coli bacteria.