Lawmakers Split on Override of Governor's Tax Cut Bill
JEFFERSON CITY - Members of Missouri's House voted Tuesday morning to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of a tax cut bill.
The republican-majority House voted 109-46 to initiate the tax cut with the sole democratic vote coming from Rep. Keith English, D-St. Louis.
The Senate voted to override the bill Monday passing it 23-8.
The passing votes in both chambers result in Missouri's first income tax rate reduction in almost a century.
The cuts could benefit about 2.5 million people and supporters say it would allow the state's wealthiest to gain the most. It would also help business owners.
Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, said the bill will hurt his district economically.
"Boone County schools will lose seven million dollars. The university will lose lots of money. This is very economically bad for boone county."
Supporters include bill handler Rep. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, who said the bill won't hurt the state, but help it.
Koenig said the tax reductions will be regulated on a year-by-year basis depending on the state's economy.
"It's phased-in over five years," he said. "Each phase-in only happens if we see 150 million dollar increase in general revenue. So there's not going to be any cuts to education. There's not going to be any cuts to anything. If we don't see economic growth the tax cuts don't happen."
Governor Nixon's office released the following statement:
"Missouri families and businesses know that public education is the best economic development tool there is, and that is why I vetoed Senate Bill 509," Gov. Nixon said. "While scaled back from last year's billion-dollar House Bill 253, Senate Bill 509 fails to prioritize or adequately protect public education at a time when quality public schools are more important than ever to our ability to create jobs in the global economy. And while its authors may have delayed its impact, Senate Bill 509 remains a very real threat to the principles of fiscal discipline that have helped us maintain our spotless AAA rating for decades. As I have from Day One, I will continue to manage the budget with the resources available and keep our state moving forward."
House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, said the following in a statement:
"Today [Tuesday], we showed Missourians why they elected a republican super-majority to the Missouri Legislature: We pass important, conservative policies. Updating our tax laws is an essential, pro-growth reform which will improve our economy by allowing small businesses, farmers, and families across our state to keep more of their own money. Our high tax rate has been harming our economy, making our state less competitive and resulting in thousands of Missourians leaving our state for low-tax states like Florida and Kansas."