Top politicians in the tax-cut debate

Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

by Christina Turner

Missouri’s Democratic attorney general and the Republican governor of Texas hopped into Missouri’s tax cut debate Friday, Aug. 30.

In a speech to a pro-business gathering in the St. Louis area, Gov. Rick Perry urged the campaign to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a broad tax-cut bill passed by the legislature this year.

“This veto override is about the future of this state,” the Republican Texas governor told the audience. “We can make Missouri substantially stronger, and if Missouri is stronger, Kansas is stronger, Indiana is stronger, Texas is stronger and this country is stronger,”

On the same day as Perry’s speech, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster issued a legal opinion that backed Nixon’s arguments that the bill retroactively authorizes tax cut refunds for the past three years if Congress passes a federal law allowing states to tax Internet sales.

“In the opinion of this Office, the plain language of the new legislation suggests that, if certain triggering events set forth in the statute occur, taxpayers may seek refunds of taxes paid in the three preceding tax years,” the Democratic attorney general wrote.

Administration officials have warned that those cuts could cut $1.2 billion out of the current year’s budget if Nixon’s veto is overturned.

In response to Koster’s opinion, the bill’s sponsor suggested the governor should call a special session at the same time as the veto session to fix the potential problem.

“Rather than going through a court process that would take a tremendous amount of time, let’s go ahead and do a special session and fix the issue right so Missouri can proceed,” said Rep. T. J. Berry, R-Kearney.

As Perry and Koster jumped into the dispute, Gov. Jay Nixon spent Friday traveling across the state making speeches in support of his veto.

The veto session of the General Assembly convenes at noon on Sept. 11. The session can last no longer than 10 days. A veto override requires a two-thirds majority vote of both the House and Senate.