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Republicans call for tax cuts, Governor doesn’t

The lines in the sand have been drawn in Jefferson City, now it’s time to see if it will be the legislature or the governor who can move those lines.

During his State of the State address Tuesday night, Governor Nixon came out with his most definitive statement yet against broad-based tax cuts.

“Let’s get something straight: I’ve held the line on taxes every year since I’ve been governor and will do so again this year,” said Nixon. “But here’s something I won’t do; I will not support anything that takes money out of our classrooms.”

The line of tough talk from the governor on taxes is similar to his stance over the summer while the governor was engaged in the battle over the veto on House Bill 253. During that fight, the governor emphasized his belief that the tax cut in House Bill 253 would cost local school districts.

Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty challenged this assertion, pointing out the bill last year, and bills filed this year, are funded through growth in tax revenues and that education could suffer from inaction.

“The claim that doing nothing helps us fund schools is simply not true,” said McCarty.  “Funding for schools and other vital state services could be threatened if Missouri continues to pretend that actions by other states will have no impact on Missouri.  Some employers will move from Missouri to other states and others will form or locate new facilities in the state’s with the lowest tax burden,”

In his rebuttal to the governor, Speaker of the House State Representative Tim Jones (R-Eureka) pledged that this will be the year that significant tax cuts come through the legislature and become the new law of the state of Missouri.

“It is a policy that has produced explosive growth in states across the country; placing more money back in the hands of taxpayers and creating growth and opportunity for all,” said Jones. “It is time for our governor to understand what Missourians know: reducing tax burdens creates growth and prosperity for all.”

Jones also went on to explain Republican efforts during the legislative session to reign in rising health care costs through medical malpractice reform, allowing workers to decide if they want to join a union at their workplace and working to keep energy prices affordable by battling against crippling EPA regulations on power plant emissions.

Governor Nixon was silent on all of those points.

“All of these ideas will move Missouri in a better direction by providing the people of our state with the opportunity to grow and prosper,” said Jones. “They will level the playing field, move government out of the way, and provide families, farmers, workers and business owners with the freedom they need to succeed.”

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