Budget-busting tax breaks continue to undermine Missouri’s economy and jeopardize its future



Please contact your legislator to ask him or her to support Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes.

Over the past several months, a growing bipartisan coalition of city and county officials, law enforcement officers, and educators has come out in support of Gov. Nixon’s vetoes of the special tax breaks passed by the legislature in the final hours of the legislative session. A total of 62 cities and counties, and 45 local government finance officers, have formally voiced their opposition to these bills and in many cases detailed how the bills will harm their communities. These damaging provisions will be the topic of the legislature’s special veto session, Sept. 10.


If passed into law, the “Budget-Busting Tax Breaks” passed in the final hours of the 2014 legislative session will continue to undermine our state’s economy and quality of life. And they will make Missouri less attractive for business investment. According to the legislature’s own fiscal notes, these tax cuts will significantly reduce state revenue, resulting in more crowded classrooms, higher college tuition, eroding transportation and infrastructure, and diminished public safety. 


Bills in question

School transfers and vouchers: SB 493 (Pearce) - Modifies provisions relating to accreditation, state intervention, school transfers and vouchers.


Concealed weapons in schools: SB 656 (Kraus) - Modifies provisions relating to firearms, including authority for teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools.


Special tax breaks:


HB 1296 (Koenig) - Authorizes certain corporations to use an alternative method of determining the amount of their income that is derived in Missouri and adds graphing calculators to the back to school sales tax holiday.


HB 1455 (Hoskins) - Allows a business to claim a sales tax exemption without requiring it to prove eligibility for the exemption.


HB 1865 (Redmon) – Creates state sales taxes exemptions for the cost of utilities used by restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, fast food restaurants and other facilities engaged in food preparation.


SB 584 (Dixon) - Creates state and local sales tax exemptions for items used in the storage or processing of data in any form, items used in the generation, transmission, distribution, sale or furnishing of electricity by power companies, and certain fees paid to places of amusement or recreation.


SB 612 (Schaaf) - Creates state and local sales tax exemptions for commercial laundries and dry cleaners on various purchases, and waives tax liability for certain business.


SB 662 (Kraus) - Waives tax liability for certain businesses and would exempt from sales tax rights of first refusal for tickets sold at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.


SB 693 (Parson) - Creates state and local sales tax exemptions for certain used vehicles and rights of first refusal for tickets sold at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, and would expand the Wine and Grape Production Tax Credit.


SB 727 (Chappelle-Nadal) Creates state and local sales tax exemptions for certain items purchased from some, but not all, farmers’ market vendors.


SB 829 (Kraus), which would enact duplicate legislation to House Bill 1455.


SB 860 (Cunningham), which would enable a purchaser to obtain a sales or use tax refund, even when they have current tax delinquencies.


 Read more…


Read what others in communities across the state are saying about these damaging bills that would become law if the legislature overrides Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto.


Local Governments

  • “These actions reduce the tax base of virtually every community in Missouri and place at risk initiatives approved by local voters.  Revenue reductions to local sales taxes will prohibit us from completing capital projects approved by voters.” – Government Finance Officers, 8/4/2014
  • “Sales tax by far is the greatest source of revenue [for counties.] Effectively, any county sales tax exemption results in a higher property tax.” – County Commissioners Association of Missouri, 7/31/14
  • “If this happens [and the Governor’s vetoes are overridden], Chillicothe and Livingston County have got serious problems.” --  Livingston County Commissioner Ken Lauhoff, St. Joseph News Press, 6/13/14
  • “This is policemen, firemen, potholes in the streets and we don’t have a way to make it up. This hurts all of our citizens.” -- Jackson Mayor Barbara Lohr, Southeast Missourian, 6/13/14
  • “What more can I cut?” It’s “disappointing to me that our legislature goes up there and just crams this at the last minute.” -- Neosho City Manager Troy Royer, Neosho Daily News, 7/16/14
  • “It’s very concerning to me that our legislature, without eyes on any individual problems or individual programs to run, would make cuts that could affect bond issues or certificates of participation that have been issued predicated on that revenue stream.” -- Greg Beavers, Farmington City Administrator, Daily Journal, 7/15/14
  • “Its annual cost to us is everything we’ve saved in recent years... That just hurts, bad” -- Jim Viebrock, Presiding Commissioner of Greene County, Springfield News-Leader, 6/10/14
  • It kills us. It completely wrecks our ship.”-- Greene County Administrator Tim Smith, Springfield News-Leader, 7/16/14

Law enforcement

  • “Hannibal Fire Chief Bill Madore indicated the results to his department would be ‘devastating.’ ‘It would shake us to our foundation,’ he said.” – Hannibal Courier-Post, 6/12/14
  • “Response time would go down. The equipment would not be there. We live off the sales tax.” -- Chillicothe Police Chief Rick Knouse, St. Joseph News Press, 6/13/14
  • “The Sheriff’s Department of St. Francois County lives solely off of sales tax. The citizens voted for it to be used for law enforcement in St. Francois County. Since 2008 when the economy took a nosedive, we’re down 14 people through attrition right now. We’re doing more with less people. Less money, less equipment.” – St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock, Daily Journal, 7/15/14
  • Our response time would be increased. Our staff might have to be cut. Any cuts to our budget would put our residents at risk.” -- St. Francois County Ambulance District Administrator David Tetrault, Daily Journal, 7/15/14


  • These provisions would reduce Proposition C funding for schools by $93.7 million annually. “For Fulton Public Schools, that means a $247,000 loss, which Superintendent Jacque Cowherd equated to 4.5 teachers. ‘If we had to go to our community today and ask to replace that, that’s a 13-and-1/4-cent tax levy increase,” Cowherd said.’” – Fulton Sun, 8/3/14
  • "Seventeen different tax breaks were passed in the last few days of the session... We’re supposed to get a little bit more formula, but then we're losing from Prop C, and so it's going to come out in the middle.” – Concordia Superintendent Mary Beth Scherer, The Concordian, 6/18/14
  • “A lot of people don’t realize the impact that will have on school districts,” -- Independence School District Superintendent Dale Herl, Independence Examiner, 6/7/14




Posted Date: 9/4/2014
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