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Mo. lawmakers to consider eliminating state's income tax

Republican State Sen. Chuck Purgason wants to do away with the state income tax and rely solely on sales and use taxes.

Among the proposals that Missouri's legislature will consider next year is one that would eliminate the state's income tax.

State Senator Chuck Purgason is sponsoring the legislation. The Republican from Caulfield wants to see Missouri rely solely on sales and use taxes.

He says that would lure more businesses to the state and be a more fair way of taxing residents.

"I never have understood a system that the harder you work, the more you earn, the more you get taxed," said Purgason. "That's almost a disincentive to go out and try to grow a company and be productive."

But Amy Blouin, executive director of the Missouri Budget Project, says relying on sales taxes would hurt middle and low income families. 

"The state sales tax rate would be 7 percent, the state and local would be 10 percent and that could be applied to everything from food and groceries to auto repairs to house repairs and even health care services," said Blouin.

Purgason counters that the wealthy buy more and would pay more.

The legislative session begins January 4.

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.

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