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AIM disappointed by Governor Nixon’s veto of HB 253

The members of Associated Industries of Missouri are disappointed in the veto of House Bill 253, the broad-based tax cut of 2013.

With one stroke of the pen, Governor Nixon has wiped away the first tax rate decrease for Missouri businesses and individuals since the 1920’s, when it was one key stroke on a computer screen supported by his own Department of Revenue that caused the problem he cites as his reason for vetoing the legislation.

AIM reiterates that House Bill 253 is the kind of common sense tax reduction that Missouri needs to compete with bordering states such as Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee, without breaking the bank. Revenue figures published yesterday (Tuesday) show that Missouri tax revenues are climbing at a more than 10 percent rate for the fiscal year. AIM maintains that’s because Missouri’s employers are expanding their operations, hiring more workers and paying better wages.

“So far this fiscal year, the state has collected nearly $700 million more in general revenue than at this same point last fiscal year,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “If this were the first year of House Bill 253, the revenue reduction would be about $120 million. We believe the state can accelerate its fiscal growth by cutting the tax burden for Missouri employers. The economy would also be stimulated by increased spending since the working poor in Missouri would also get a tax cut right away.”

House Bill 253 not only cuts taxes for every employer and taxpayer in the state, but it also includes important programs backed by the governor to help balance the state budget. Programs such as state tax amnesty, a strengthened nexus law to allow the Missouri Department of Revenue to more aggressively encourage interstate vendors to collect Missouri taxes on sales to Missouri residents, and a streamlining of our state and local sales tax laws.

What occurred in House Bill 253 is a drafting error. It happens frequently, especially in technically dense 200 page descriptions of tax law. With the changes in the bill not set to occur until 2015, this problem is easily fixable by the 2014 state legislature. It is our hope, and indeed our expectation, that cooler heads will prevail on this issue, the legislature will override the Governor’s veto, and we all can get back to the business of growing Missouri’s economy.

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