Nixon pushes back against new tax breaks
According to the Associated Press, Governor Jay Nixon is displeased with what he calls “special interest tax legislation” and says the tax cuts will blow a hole in the state budget.
In an A.P. story published statewide Monday, the governor says passage of bills that create tax incentives for people in wheelchairs, patients battling brain tumors and farmers will cost the state more than $80 million in tax revenues. Legislative researchers place the tax revenue loss at $22 million.
Another bill the article mentions meeting with Governor Nixon’s objections is an export incentive for freight forwarders; however, Nixon called a special legislative session in 2011 to consider a similar incentive. The incentive did not pass at that time, but legislators overwhelmingly approved legislation that contained the new incentive before the end of the 2016 regular session of the legislature.
“We don’t consider purchasers of wheelchair parts, purchasers of items used in the treatment of brain tumors, and farmers to be ‘special interests’,” said Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty. “People with brain tumors and purchasers of wheelchairs and their parts do not consider those items to be luxury items – they are necessities and the legislation would allow them to be exempt from sales tax,” said McCarty.
As has happened in previous legislative sessions, the governor appears to be threatening to withhold money from programs already in the state budget as Nixon told the A.P. he will review the costs closely and take “actions necessary to keep the budget in balance.”
Nixon could veto the bills or block other state spending to compensate, but the state legislature now has the ability to override both the governor’s vetoes and withholdings, thanks to an AIM-supported constitutional amendment passed by Missouri voters in 2014.