Nixon continues state-wide visits, tries to gain support

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FULTON - Gov. Jay Nixon will speak with Fulton's local government and public school leaders Friday. 

The governor has toured the state this summer, speaking to local leaders about the impact of special tax break and exemption bills passed by the General Assembly in the final hours of the 2014 legislative session.

Nixon has been critical of the way the General Assembly passed nearly 10 tax-break related bills as the session came to an end.

"[Lawmakers] rushed through with little debate in the final hours of the legislative session, these special breaks and exemptions for a handful of special interests are the result of a deeply flawed process and a fundamentally misguided approach to tax policy," Nixon said. "Many of the most costly provisions were slipped into bills without a public hearing or even a fiscal note, and none of these giveaways were accounted for in the budget the legislature sent to my desk or in the local budgets of the jurisdictions they would impact."

The governor claims the special breaks would take more than $775 million from the state budget, about $351 million would come from local taxes.

The governor vetoed 10 of the tax break bills, which would provide tax breaks to data storage centers, fitness centers and farmers markets, among other businesses.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported House Speaker Tim Jones was disappointed but not surprised by the governor's vetoes.

"The governor fails to understand that these dollars do not belong to him," Jones said in a written statement. "[T]hey were earned by Missouri businesses of all sizes that are the lifeblood of our economy and the providers of jobs."

"These special carve outs and loopholes would undermine local public services and flout the will of voters by eroding revenues that support services," Nixon said.

The round-table style discussion will include a presentation and question and answer session with State Budget Director, Linda Luebbering and the Governor's Senior Legal and Policy Adviser Chris Pieper at 10 p.m. in the Fulton High School Media Center.