“In an effort to boost Missouri’s economy and allow Missourians to keep more of their hard-earned wages, the Missouri General Assembly has passed legislation to provide broad-based tax relief, and we applaud their efforts,” said Missouri Chamber Vice President of Governmental Affairs Tracy King.
Today, the Missouri Senate passed House Bill 253, legislation that cuts the corporate tax rate in half and reduces individual taxes by $384 million. The cuts would be phased in over ten years.
The legislation is sponsored by Rep. T.J. Berry and was handled in the Senate by Sen. Eric Schmitt. Sen. Will Kraus also was instrumental is supporting this legislation and he has sponsored similar legislation this session. With the Missouri Senate’s vote today, the bill now goes back to the House for approval or to call a conference with the Senate to work out differences on the legislation.
“One of the strongest economic development tools we can provide is broad-based tax relief, which is contained in this bill,” said King. “It allows existing businesses to keep more of their earnings to reinvest in workers and expansion. At the same time, it gives prospective employers a strong reason to move to our state. What’s more, it gives workers an opportunity to keep more of their paychecks.”
The Missouri Chamber has been a strong proponent of this approach, and is committed to using this legislation as a recruiting tool, should the governor sign it into law.
“We can tell prospective employers ‘Come to Missouri, where we reward productivity, not overtax it,’” King said.
The bill contains protections for the state, should the economy take a swing downward. The tax reductions would not be implemented unless state tax collections exceed the highest tax collections from the previous three years by $100 million.
Senate supporters of the bill said the beauty of the legislation is that it will only go into effect if Missouri’s revenue grows. Ultimately, it is designed to slow the pace of growth of government.
“What that means is that rather than put increased revenues into growing government, Missouri is choosing to invest in its businesses and workers,” said King.
In addition to the tax cuts, the legislation also includes provisions that would allow Missouri to take steps toward securing sales tax from Internet sales. These provisions are estimated to bring Missouri more than $13 million annually, according to estimates by the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board.
The legislation also would implement a tax amnesty program. The Missouri Office of Administration estimates that this could provide an influx of outstanding tax revenue of $51 million.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) was founded in 1923 and is the largest business organization in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers, providing more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.