Nixon Vetoes Tax Cut Bills

Published 06/11 2014 09:21PM

Updated 06/11 2014 10:46PM

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Wednesday vetoed a wide range of bills, all aimed at reducing taxes for a number of different groups.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Nixon said the tax cuts were reckless and fiscally irresponsible.
"My vetoes today are the first step toward restoring fiscal sanity to a budget process which has gone off the rails," said Nixon.

Nixon was especially critical of the bills' passage on the last day of the legislative session. Previously, he had called legislators' actions a free-for-all for special interest groups. Representative Delus Johnson of St. Joseph had a different opinion.

"I completely disagree that these are special interest giveaways," Johnson said. "When we're looking at tax incentives to lure an IT company or a data center to Missouri, these are not special interest giveaways."

The governor also objected to the cost of the tax cuts, which he said would have been as high as $776 million that would come out of funding for education and road repair.

Johnson did not agree with the governor's math.

"The numbers coming out of the governor's office have absolutely no back up whatsoever," Johnson said. "Fiscal notes on some of these bills came back at zero dollars which means it would cost the state actually nothing. "

One of the bills vetoed was SB-727, sponsored by Johnson. It would have eliminated sales taxes charged at farmer's markets.

"What it would allow is for many more people to participate in farmer's markets and also pull roadside vendors into compliance that aren't charging sales tax," Johnson said. "This is a great way to deliver more agricultural products to buyers. It's also going to increase a person's buying power."

Another bill vetoed Wednesday was SB-612, which would have exempted commercial dry cleaners from state and local sales taxes on purchases needed to do business. It was sponsored by St. Joseph Senator Rob Schaaf.

"Suddenly the department of revenue changed the rules on them and their taxes are going way up. Rather than losing these businesses to Kansas, we're trying to fix the problem so that they can stay and pay the taxes they've been paying for 30 years."

Johnson says he expects legislators to override at least some of the governor's vetoes during a September session.

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