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Mo. House leaders propose tax rebate

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By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri taxpayers would get a $1 billion rebate under a new plan revealed today by House Republicans.

The money would come from the state's share of federal stimulus dollars.

Missouri House budget writers came up with the proposal after scrapping plans to divvy up the money among projects in members' districts.

House Speaker Ron Richard (R, Joplin) says the new plan represents a better use of stimulus money.

"(The) Budget Committee did a great job, but (in) the end, when it was a spending frenzy by both sides, we thought it was probably a time to not act like Washington, DC, and we made adjustments," Richard said.

The rebate would come in the form of a reduced state income tax rate, resulting in either a larger refund or a smaller amount owed when filing next year's returns.

House Budget Chairman Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) says $400-750 million in stimulus funds would be held in reserve, and the rest would go to various projects.

"Our hope is that truly this will stimulate the economy within the state, start to turn things around so that we don't have to continue to face the difficult decisions that we've had to face so far putting together the 2010 state budget," Icet said.

GOP leaders hope to get the plan to the House floor next week. If it passes, it would then go to the Missouri Senate.

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