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.
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.
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.
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.
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.