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Still unclear whether Missouri taxpayers, businesses will see a small tax cut

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters after the 2017 adjourned. Greitens didn't have the smoothest relationship with legislators, including Republicans that control both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens

Missouri residents and businesses may see a small tax cut in the coming months due to the state bringing in a little more income than expected during the fiscal year that ended Friday.

But there’s nothing official, as Gov. Eric Greitens’ administration said Wednesday it’s still reviewing numbers released by the state budget office.

Those showed Missouri collected about $230 million dollars more in taxes, fees and other income during the 2017 fiscal year — more than the $150 million dollar increase required to trigger the tax reduction.

If put in place, taxpayers would see their income tax rate drop by one-tenth of one percent, from 6 percent to 5.9 percent. The state Budget Office hasn’t calculated what the impact would be on the average taxpayer, or how much income the state government would lose.

The General Assembly approved the tax cut package in 2014, but it had not gone into effect earlier because the state’s income increases have been too low.

Greitens already temporarily cut about $250 million from the current fiscal year’s budget, things that could be restored if the state’s finances improve. His office has yet to say whether the possible tax cuts were taken into account.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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