Tax Cut Debate Underway In Missouri Senate | St. Louis Public Radio

Tax Cut Debate Underway In Missouri Senate

Feb 11, 2014

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