Nixon Says Tax Breaks Could Cost Local Governments

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ST. LOUIS - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is amplifying his opposition to a series of tax breaks passed by lawmakers.

Nixon said Wednesday the tax breaks could cost local governments $351 million of revenues annually. That's on top of what Nixon's administration projects as a $425 million annual reduction in state tax revenues.

Columbia would stand to lose more than $5.5 million, Boone County would lose more than $4.5 million, Jefferson City would face a $2.4 million deficit, Cole County would lose more than $2 million, and Callaway County would lose $400,000. 

The Democratic governor was traveling to St. Louis and Kansas City to make his point about the potential hit to local governments.

Callaway County Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann said he was blindsided by these tax breaks, and said he will need to meet with other officials to determine what to do if the budget is slashed.

"It's really hard for us at the local level when the people at the state level start making decisions that we know nothing about, and then we get it last minute, and we're trying to figure out how bad this really is," Jungermann said.   

Republican lawmakers have disputed some of the cost projections.

Legislators passed about two-dozen tax breaks for specific industries, organizations or consumers. Some of those would exempt sales taxes for expenses by computer data centers, electric companies and restaurants.

Nixon has said he will make vetoes or budget cuts in response to the tax breaks.