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Governor Nixon Speaks Out Against SB-509 in Savannah

A meeting of northwest Missouri school boards provided Missouri Governor Jay Nixon a chance to speak out against tax cut bill SB-509. Nixon feels it would threaten funding for education.
(SAVANNAH, Mo.) A meeting of school board officials from across northwest Missouri provided the backdrop for Governor Jay Nixon to campaign against SB-509.

The bill proposes lowering the income tax rate from six percent to 5.5 percent over a five year period if the state meets certain revenue goals.

It's estimated that the cut could cost the state $620 million in taxes collected if passed.

"Taking $620 million out of the budget would not allow us to meet the commitments we've made," Nixon said while addressing school board officials at Savannah Middle School. "It would not allow us to move forward in this unfair way. It's not even good policy."

Nixon fears that education would feel the brunt of any kind of tax cut. This comes at a time when lawmakers in Jefferson City are still struggling to fund schools, even in an improving economy.

"We're facing this thought of folks thinking once this thing gets going, they want to drain the tank before it gets filled up," Nixon said.

For the Savannah School District, it's potentially four percent of its overall budget.

"The amount for Savannah cut would be $689,000 when Senate Bill 509 is fully implemented," said Savannah R-III Superintendent David Brax.

Nixon also believes SB-509 is wrong because of a fairness issue.

"Having working people wait until 2022 to get a $32 tax cut while the wealthiest among us will get significant tax breaks, 25 percent of their pass through income," he said.

Schools across the state have been dealing with a state school funding formula that many say is confusing.

"We take what they give us because we have no choice. We hope for the best," said James Vega, newly elected Board of Education President for Savannah R-III.

If SB-509 passes through the Missouri legislature, it is sure to be vetoed by Governor Nixon.

From there, it would be a fight during a veto override attempt.

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