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Government, Politics & Issues

Tax Cut Debate Underway In Missouri Senate

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Debate has begun in the Missouri Senate on this year's attempt to cut the state's income tax rate.

State Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit, is sponsoring Senate Bill 509.  It would reduce the individual income tax rate from 6 percent to 5 percent and phase in a tax deduction on an individual's business income of 50 percent. Kraus debated the potential effects of the bill with fellow Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, on the Senate floor Tuesday.

"I believe that (it) would improve the growth of our state by growing our economy, and that would improve our GDP," Kraus said.  "Can I tell you (by) how much? No."

"Right, and that's the problem, senator, that’s the crux of the problem," Levota responded.  "We see Kansas do something like that, they only have a growth rate of 1.19 percent, 21st in the country.  We've had a growth rate of 1.69 percent, 11th in the country, and we haven't done this.... There's a group of people that say (that) this type of tax cut will harm our (social) services."

The bill was set aside after about 90 minutes of debate, and a spokesperson indicated that they may spend more than a week on it before pushing for first-round approval.

A similar tax cut bill in the House, HB1253, has already passed through two committees and is currently awaiting floor debate.  Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed last year's attempt at cutting Missouri's tax rate and has spoken out against this year's attempts as well, saying it would gut education funding.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

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