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McCarty testifies before House committee on downsizing state government

Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty says the state can become more efficient by limiting state appropriation growth and enacting the tax cuts in House Bill 253.

Speaking to the House Interim Committee on Downsizing State Government, McCarty said AIM supports legislation that would place some sort of limit on the amount the state budget could grow from year to year. If revenues come in above the limit, the excess could be returned to the state’s taxpayers, or be placed in state reserve funds, or some combination of the two.

“The spending limitation will drive efficiency and result in the state having resources in bad economic times because the state will be storing up revenues during good times,” McCarty told committee members Thursday. “We believe this will help stabilize the budget cycles and help the state wisely invest the taxpayers’ money.”

McCarty also told committee members that the override of the governor’s veto of House Bill 253 will also drive government efficiency by allowing taxpayers to keep a portion of the money they have traditionally been sending to the state. The state would be rewarding job creators and employees that are working to supply the state with tax dollars by investing a portion of the growth in income tax revenues back into the state’s economy through reductions in personal and business income taxes.

McCarty said that the state’s $339 million budget surplus would more than pay the first year’s tax cut, and all future tax cuts would be based on substantial growth in tax revenues. McCarty sited Kansas’ recent increase of $86 million in tax revenues above projections as evidence that tax cuts lead to increased revenues.

Thursday’s hearing at the State Capitol was the last formal meeting of the committee. Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Curtman (R-Pacific) said his group had heard several suggestions about improving efficiency in state government during their week-long tour of the state.

“Some people have concerns that there’s a lot of redundancies in our bureaucracies, different departments doing the same jobs,” said Curtman. “But we’ve heard suggestions about everything from relaxing the marijuana laws to implementing the Fair Tax.”

Curtman said his committee would be writing a report on their findings which could lead to legislation during the next session of the legislature which begins in January.

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