Governor Nixon Seeks Support from Columbia Public Schools
COLUMBIA - Governor Jay Nixon spoke with Columbia Public Schools Tuesday night to seek their support in his pending veto of Senate Bill 509.
Senate Bill 509 contains a provision that would eliminate the income tax for Missouri residents who make over $9,000 dollars.
Nixon says this cut in income tax would cost Missouri schools $223 million dollars and state revenue almost $5 billion annually and would harm long term progress.
"Even though Missouri already has very low taxes, 6th lowest in the nation, some legislators want to cut taxes even further and do it in a way that would undermine our ability to support public education now and for years to come," Nixon said.
Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher says if the bill passes, an increased tax burden would fall at the local level.
"My greatest fear is that Columbia might survive by the local tax base saying we will pay up, but then the schools down the road couldn't get it done and you are going to start seeing this huge inequity between the quality of programs," Belcher said. "It's not fair for a kid to be subject to a different quality of education based on where they are born and that is what would start happening," he said.
Nixon stressed a bill like this would be difficult to undo and urged those in attendance to speak to their representatives in favor of abandoning the bill.
Outside of the meeting, some residents protested Nixon's comments and were there to show support for the bill.
"More money is coming out of tax payers wallets and we think the best thing for Missouri to be on a path to prosperity in the long haul is to put more money in the tax payers pocket and that happens with a tax cut," Americans For Prosperity Deputy State Director Rachel Payton said.