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Mo. House passes tax cut

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By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri House has passed a bill giving citizens a tax cut that would be paid for in part by federal stimulus funds.

Supporters had originally sought a two-year tax cut, with the lost revenue being covered by $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars.

But GOP lawmakers expanded it to a permanent tax cut totaling $463 million a year.

Speaker Pro-tem Bryan Pratt (R, Blue Springs) backed the expansion.

"Who deserves taxpayer dollars more, government or families, government or taxpayers, government or our constituents?" Pratt said.

Democrats describe the tax cut as "imaginary," saying it would lead to devastating cuts to health care, public schools, and other vital services.

Minority Floor Leader Paul LeVota (D, Independence) spoke against it during floor debate.

"We need to use the additional state stabilization money to stabilize the budget and to build jobs, not to give away three dollars and odd cents a week to people who never asked for it," LeVota said.

The bill passed 86-66 on a party line vote.

It now goes to the Missouri Senate, with just over two weeks left in the 2009 session.

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