The Missouri House passed legislation on Thursday curtailing two of the state’s largest tax credit programs.
State Rep. Anne Zerr’s bill would reduce the historic preservation tax credit’s cap to $90 million from $140 million. That program helps refurbish older buildings and has been used extensively throughout St. Louis.
The bill would also gradually reduce the cap on the tax credit for low-income housing to $110 million from $140 million. That credit provides an incentive for developers to build housing for the working poor, elderly and disabled.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing a budget that would set state government spending at roughly what it was seven years ago, before the nation’s economy – and the state’s budgets -- took a nose dive.
And that’s a huge difference from the frugal budgets the state has seen for years.
The biggest beneficiary of the increased spending, should the General Assembly agree, will be public education.
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, has been tapped to deliver the Republican response to next Tuesday’s State of the State address by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.
Jones had been on the short list for the response, usually delivered within minutes of the governor's annual speech. Others believed to be in the running had been Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who has delivered the response several times since Nixon took office, and state Auditor Tom Schweich, who’s running for re-election this fall.
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.
As the Missouri General Assembly prepares to open on Wednesday for its five-month session, those involved – in and out of the state Capitol – say the big unknown about this year’s proceedings centers on one major question:
Will the session be about the past – the continued debates over Medicaid expansion and tax cuts? Or will it be controlled by new matters – notably, the unrest over student transfers from failed districts and the looming 2014 elections?
Despite the bad weather, Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones hit the road early Thursday to begin his three-day tour through southern Missouri to highlight his “4G Agenda” for the new legislative session, which begins next week.
Jones’ planned focus includes revisiting the tax cuts that dominated much of the 2013 session as well as his push to revamp public education, promote energy production and examine such issues as “right to work,’’ which bars unions and employers from requiring all workers to become members when a majority votes for union representation.