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Government, Politics & Issues

Nixon Emphatically Denies Administration's Role In Accidental Medicine Tax Language

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.
Nixon in St. Louis at the Lutheran Family and Children’s Services.";

Governor Jay Nixon (D) strongly denied allegations Monday that his administration had a role in the language of a bill that would inadvertently cause a sales tax hike on prescription drugs in Missouri.

Last week, Nixon sent out a press release condemning an income tax bill passed by Republicans that would have accidentally caused a sales tax increase due to an accidental bracket.

But a few days later, the Associated Press reported that Nixon’s Department of Revenue signed off on the version that included the error.

As the AP wrote:

"A legislative staffer sent a revised version back to the Revenue Department that included the prescription tax error. The Revenue Department official then signed off on that version."

Nixon said blaming his administration for the error is preposterous.

“The legislature has a responsibility," Nixon said, visibly frustrated. "They shouldn’t start pointing fingers. They should put their nose down and look at the bills they’re passing. They’re the ones that voted on them.”

In an interview with the St. Louis Beacon on Friday, Republican House Speaker Tim Jones (who was a major supporter of the bill) called Nixon's problem with the tax bill a "red herring."

Republicans contend Nixon is looking for any reason to veto the bill, and that the inadvertent bracket gives him an excuse.

"The legislators are looking in the wrong direction if they're pointing fingers at somebody else when they voted for a $200 million tax increase on Missourians who need their drugs," Nixon said. "Whether they knew it or not, it was on their desks."

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

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