Gov. Jay Nixon followed through on his threat to veto a tax-cut bill he says would have a catastrophic effect on school funding while benefiting lawyers and lobbyists.
Nixon’s veto followed a Thursday afternoon announcement in St. Louis in which he condemned Senate Bill 509.
“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. “Instead of helping middle-class families get ahead, the money this bill would drain from our classrooms and college campuses would go to line the pockets of lawyers, lobbyists and other wealthy individuals.”
At the root of Nixon’s opposition to the bill is a 25 percent tax deduction for what is called “pass-through” business income. The legislation also would gradually cut the state’s top individual income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent. The tax cuts would begin in 2017, but only if state revenues grow by at least $150 million.
House Speaker Tim Jones responded to the governor’s veto in a news release.
“Our outdated tax code is pushing businesses out of Missouri and taking too much money from our state’s families, and this bill would help provide relief for Missourians and make our state a pro-growth state,” Jones said.
Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, is the sponsor of the bill.
“I am disappointed that the governor chose to ignore the benefits of the tax cuts in Senate Bill 509,” Kraus said. “Not only does this responsible tax reform put money back in the hands of the people who earned it, it will also act as an economic driver for the state of Missouri.”
Kraus said based on discussions with leadership and members of both chambers, he is optimistic that the General Assembly will override the governor’s veto and “pass the first tax rate cut for Missourians in almost 100 years.”