Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Missouri Legislature celebrates National Teacher Day by cutting education funding

Posted By on Tue, May 6, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Keith English, the only Missouri Democrat who voted to enact the tax cut.
  • Keith English, the only Missouri Democrat who voted to enact the tax cut.
He was able to fend it off in the 2013 session, but today Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon lost a big battle with Republicans in the Legislature set on overriding his veto of SB 509. The bill, which cuts taxes by $620 million and makes the state the third in the nation to allow a business-income deduction for personal tax returns, is now law.

As Steve Vockrodt noted last week, this tax-cut bill is largely inspired by Kansas tax policy, which is failing miserably.

"Senate Bill 509 is an unfair, unaffordable and dangerous scheme that would defund our schools, weaken our economy, and destabilize the strong foundation of fiscal discipline that we've worked so long and hard to build," Nixon said last week. Today he noted that the bill "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."

Progress Missouri notes that it leans heavily in favor of already-affluent citizens, with a Missouri family making $51,000 a year getting a $57 annual tax cut, while one that brings in $500,000 saves nearly $8,000.

The Missouri National Education Association says the bill's "$620 million giveaway to lawyers, lobbyists and special interests diminishes the ability of our state to meet its minimum obligation to fund local schools."

House Speaker Tim Jones, a Republican, said, "Today, we showed Missourians why they elected a Republican supermajority 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."

We'll see.


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