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Government, Politics & Issues
Gov. Eric Greitens announced in late May that he would resign after facing months of political and legal scandals.The saga started in January, when KMOV released a recording of a woman saying Greitens took a compromising photo of her during a sexual encounter and threatened to blackmail her.A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February on felony invasion of privacy. The woman testified to lawmakers that Greitens sexually and physically abused her, spurring bipartisan calls for his resignation or impeachment.The invasion of privacy charge was eventually dropped by St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office following a series of prosecutorial missteps before the trial began. Greitens was also accused of illegally obtaining a donor list from the veterans non-profit he co-founded with his political campaign, but that charge, too, was dismissed as part a deal that led to his resignation as governor.

Greitens unveils highlights of his tax plan, but holds off on full details

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KRISSY LANE | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO
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Gov. Eric Greitens released a few details of his tax cut proposal today via email.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has released portions of his plan to cut taxes in Missouri.

Greitens said in a written statement Thursday afternoon that most of the details of his proposal will be laid out “in the coming weeks.” But the Republican governor has listed several goals, or “principles,” that make up the plan.

They include cutting taxes on residents and business owners, and closing loopholes used by “big businesses” and upper-income residents.

“For too long, our tax system has benefited special interests … our tax plan puts working families first,” he said. “We're simplifying the tax code so small shops can compete with big businesses. We’re cutting taxes on people that work hard so they can keep more money in their pocket. And we're doing it in a responsible, revenue-neutral way so we don't put our children in debt.”

Greitens added that anyone making more than $9,072 a year will get a tax cut, though the size of that cut was not disclosed. The plan also states that 380,000 low-income workers would see their state income taxes zeroed out.

“It’s the boldest state tax reform in America because it's tax reform for working families – not lobbyists and special interests,” Greitens said.

State Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holt Summit, likes what he hears so far.

“I think as a state we can do a better job of closing loopholes that only benefit a small portion of Missouri, and (instead) close loopholes to give tax benefits to every Missourian,” he said.

Fitzwater is also sponsoring a tax cut proposal that would lower the top state income tax rate on Missouri residents to 4.8 percent. The current rate tops out at 5.9 percent and is eventually set to drop to 5.5 percent. His bill would also cap tax credits at $425 million a year and would raise the fuel tax by 6 cents a gallon.

Republican senators Bill Eigel of Weldon Springs and Andrew Koenig of Manchester are sponsoring similar bills. Neither have commented yet on Greitens’ proposal.

House Democrats issued a statement, calling it long on promises and short on details.

“The governor’s vague promise ... sounds more like the desperation play of an administration in danger of collapsing from scandal than a serious policy proposal,” said House Minority Floor Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City. “Until Eric Greitens stops hiding and, in his own words, offers a full and detailed public denial of the allegations that he threatened his former mistress, Missourians won’t hear anything else he says.”

Greitens canceled a statewide tour this week to unveil his tax plan after he admitted last week to an extramarital affair in 2015. He has denied allegations that he threatened to blackmail the unidentified woman.

Follow Marshall on Twitter:@MarshallGReport

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