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HB-253 Supporters Say Tax Breaks are Good for Economy

Legislators will be meeting in special session next week looking to override governor's veto.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) For those in support of HB-253, it's a simple argument.

"This is the discussion of an economic policy, whether you think it is best for people to keep and spend their own money in their own communities, or if it's better for government to spend it," said Carl Beardon.

Beardon is with United for Missouri, a conservative, non-profit organization that has been actively campaigning for the bill.

Letting people spend their own money is part of the message seen in television advertisements supporting the bill. Governor Nixon vetoed the tax cutting bill last spring, but a special session of the Missouri General Assembly will begin next week to look at overriding that veto.

"What we do know in the real world is that when you do broad based income tax cuts, government income actually increases because people benefit from keeping their own money and spending it," Beardon said.

"The bill would reduce personal income tax .05 percent over 10 years. It would also cut taxes for businesses. Half of their income would be non-taxable in five years," said representative Galen Higdon, a republican from St. Joseph who says he will vote for the override.

"Our business people can turn around and invest in their business, in their people, in the personnel that they have, hire additional people and put part-time people, full-time," Higdon said.

A big voice against HB-253 locally is the St. Joseph School District. They fear a big loss in state funding if the tax cut passes.

"The St. Joseph School District is about $15 million underfunded already," said Beau Musser, Chief Financial Officer for the district. "Any loss of revenue is going to be terrible for our local school district."

At its last meeting, the School Board unanimously passed a resolution opposing HB-253.

"We have lots of struggles. This will not help us shifting money and the burden from the state to our local school district."

But supporters say in the long run, there will actually be more money.

"When I give you the dollar, you're going to take that dollar and you're going to go spend that dollar," Higdon said. "When you do that in our community, it goes around between 5-7 times. What happens is that the catch up by the end of the next physical year is greater than the loss."

Governor Nixon also says Seniors will take a hit on their prescription medications if the bill passes.

In all, he says HB-253 will cost state government $800 million per year.

The special session will start next week.

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