NEWS RELEASE: Training funds and tax fairness legislation returned to Missouri employers

The Missouri General Assembly has voted to protect Missouri employers, returning vital training funds and protections for employers in tax court.

Lawmakers voted to override Gov. Nixon’s veto of more than 50 line items in the state budget, including $900,000 to the Missouri Works job-training program.  Missouri Works provides customized training resources and assistance to existing businesses and start-ups through a partnership with Missouri Community Colleges and other local educational agencies.

The Missouri Chamber strongly supported returning these funds to our employers,” said Missouri Chamber President and CEO Daniel P. Mehan.  “These are proven programs and vitally important to the employers that depend upon this training.”

The General Assembly also overwhelmingly supported the veto override of Senate Bill 829, legislation ending an unfair bias against many of the state’s employers.  Senate Bill 829 is sponsored by Sen. Will Krause, a Republican from Lee’s Summit. The bill was handled in the House by Rep. Denny Hoskins, a Republican from Warrensburg.

The bill would ensure that all taxpayers are presumed innocent when the Missouri Department of Revenue chooses to bring them to court in a tax dispute. Under current state law, companies with more than 500 employees and a net worth of greater than $7 million are actually presumed guilty in the state’s tax courts. All other taxpayers are presumed innocent in tax disputes.

“This bill addresses that basic issue of fairness. Current law holds that certain employers are guilty until proven innocent.  That’s just not right,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO.  “Why should we treat one class of taxpayer differently from the rest?”

Securing this legislation has been a priority of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry for more than a decade.  Prior to 1999, all employers were considered guilty until proven innocent in tax court.

“The Missouri Chamber has pushed to incrementally change this provision year after year and this veto override marks the final step in that process.  The job is finally finished!” Mehan said.

In addition to the change in income tax disputes, SB 829 also requires the revenue department to prove its case in all sales tax exemption disputes.  This provision will be a benefit to both small and large employers.

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.

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