(via Flickr/lilhelen)

The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld a law that created a $31 billion statewide construction program.

It unanimously rejected arguments that lawmakers improperly mixed together different issues in a single piece of legislation.

The court on Monday said all parts of the law had "a natural and logical connection" to the public works program.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation to gradually repeal a tax on some Missouri businesses.

The bill reduces Missouri's franchise tax rate over the next several years before repealing it altogether for the 2016 tax year. Nixon signed the measure Tuesday in Kansas City at Boulevard Brewing Co. He said repealing the measure will provide an incentive for companies to move to Missouri.

The state's franchise tax was levied in 1917 and applies to company assets such as buildings and inventory.

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A Missouri House member wants to ask voters to raise the state cigarette tax by 81 cents a pack.

Democrat Chris Kelly, of Columbia, outlined his plan Thursday to a House committee. He's proposing a future statewide vote on whether to raise Missouri's current 17-cent tax - the lowest in the nation - to 98 cents per pack.

Kelly says the increase could generate $425 million in state revenue, discourage people from smoking and bring down state health care costs.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

With less than a month to go in this year’s legislative session, another proposal is being made to overhaul Missouri’s tax structure.

The resolution would replace the state’s income tax with a sales tax -- and if passed by lawmakers, it would go before Missouri voters next year.

via Flickr/J_D_R

Starting next year, Illinois businesses will see a tax increase and the recently unemployed will lose a week of unemployment benefits.

That's because of a compromise bill passed this month in the Illinois Legislature.

The Rockford Register Star reports the deal is part of a longer-term plan to help contribute to Illinois' depleted unemployment trust fund, which is $3 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury.

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

Missouri's tax revenues are up 6.5 percent with only one-quarter of the budget year to go.

Figures released Monday by the state Office of Administration show the growth fueled by stronger individual and corporate income tax collections than during the 2010 fiscal year. A decline in tax refunds also has contributed to the growth in state revenues.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill could owe a total of nearly $320,000 in overdue property taxes, interest and penalties on an airplane that has caused her political headaches.

McCaskill sent about $287,000 to St. Louis County earlier this week after acknowledging that property taxes had not been paid on a plane owned by a company in which she and her husband have an interest. But that may not be enough money.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Republicans are attacking Senator Claire McCaskill for failing to own up to her own rhetoric about openness and accountability.

The state Republican Party is calling on McCaskill to release tax records associated with a controversial airplane at the center of a tax and accounting scandal.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill admitted today that she has failed to pay up approximately $287,000 in back taxes on a personal airplane.

Problems with McCaskill's plane surfaced several weeks ago amid reports that her office improperly billed the government for travel to a political event.

McCaskill took responsibility for that mistake, but she admits that the perception of dodging taxes could hurt her chances for re-election in 2012.

(via Flickr/seannaber)

An Illinois Senate committee has voted to raise cigarette taxes by $1 a pack and use the money for construction projects around the state.

Senators split along party lines Wednesday, with nine Democrats supporting the increase and six Republicans opposing it. The measure now goes to the full Senate.

Democrats say the cigarette tax could replace other sources of construction money that are tied up in a legal dispute. They also say it would cut state health costs by discouraging smoking.

Republicans argue the increase would disproportionately fall on the poor.

(Flickr Creative Commons User JD Hancock)

A House committee has voted along partisan lines to advance a proposal eliminating Missouri's income taxes and replacing them with a higher sales tax.

The vote Wednesday by the House Tax Reform Committee marked the first step toward moving the so-called "Fair Tax" proposal to the 2012 statewide ballot. All the Republicans on the committee voted for the measure and all the Democrats opposed it.

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

According to an Illinois Supreme court stay issued today (which you can read below), the state can continue collecting higher taxes on liquor, coffee and grooming products.  But that may be only temporary.

The tax bumps have been in place since 2009.

Lawmakers intended for them, as well as proceeds from the legalization of video poker, to pay for a $31 billion infrastructure plan. 

Reporting from Sean Crawford, Illinois Public Radio also used in this report.

An Illinois appellate court has thrown out legalized video gambling and higher taxes on liquor and candy that were supposed to fund a $31 billion state construction plan.

The court ruled the 2009 law violated the state Constitution's prohibition on bills that deal with more than one subject.

Missouri homeowners who bought their properties after June 13th of this year and think the assessed values were too high can file appeals, due to a change in the tax code.  But there's a catch.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The incoming Speaker of the Missouri House is again voicing doubts about a report that recommends eliminating nearly half of the state’s tax credit programs.

Aaron Doerr

The Senate voted this afternoon to move ahead with Obama's compromise tax cut package.  A final Senate vote is expected Tuesday. But the bill still faces an uncertain future in the House. 

(Flickr Creative Commons User JD Hancock)

Gov. Jay Nixon is opposing efforts to end a Missouri tax break for some low-income seniors and disabled residents.

Missouri appears to be well on its way to recovery from the recession. By working hard, investing in infrastructure and having a strong food produce manufacturing sector, the state has been able to lower its unemployment rate nearly a percentage point below the national average. Local elected officials have encouraged a business-friendly atmosphere and, despite budget shortfalls, avoided the urge to raise taxes. Unfortunately, proposals being considered by the federal government could trip up the Show Me State’s progress.