by Shannon O’Brien
By near party-line votes, the Missouri House on Thursday, Feb. 20, approved two measures to cuts taxes for businesses, individuals who get income from businesses and general income tax payers.
The largest tax cut would phase in a reduction of the state income tax rate for most taxpayers from six percent of taxable income to 5.3 percent. Legislative staff estimates that when fully phased in, the measure to cut income taxes would reduce state revenues by more than $700 million per year.
The House votes came as Gov. Jay Nixon was negotiating with the Senate sponsor of a similar bill. Nixon issued an immediate attack on the House action.
“The House passed not one, but two, fiscally irresponsible experiments that combined would funnel nearly a billion dollars out of our classrooms and other priorities,” Nixon said in a prepared statement issued shortly after the House vote.
Nixon vetoed a similar income tax cut bill last year.
Nixon has said he would negotiate on a tax-cut bill if the legislature would agree to restore full funding for public schools and cut tax credits for real estate developers.
The Senate tax bill sponsor, Sen. Will Kraus, R-Jackson County, said discussions continue with the governor, but he declined to provide further details. Senate action on cutting taxes has been delayed pending those negotiations.