During a capitol press conference on March 30, leaders in the Missouri House and Senate pledged to make tax policy reform a priority during the second half of the legislative session. Action in this area would address a troubling area of state government that is hurting business growth and impacting Missouri’s efforts to create jobs.
According to a new Gallup survey, Missouri businesses are widely displeased with Missouri’s existing tax policy. The survey showed that only 21 percent of business leaders agree that Missouri offers consistent tax policy, with only one in five businesses agreeing that tax policy is stable enough to allow for year-to-year growth planning. In addition, only 17 percent said they were satisfied with Missouri tax policy. The results come from a survey of more than 1,000 Missouri business leaders. The survey was commissioned by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and released in February 2015.
“Missouri businesses are clearly telling us that tax policy and the practices of the Missouri Department of Revenue are hurting their ability to grow,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber President and CEO. “We don’t think it’s too much to ask for the state to provide an understandable, rational tax policy that is applied consistently. Despite the tax challenges facing businesses today, it’s heartening to see so many legislative leaders lining up to sponsor and support bills to improve our system. On behalf of the business community, I urge the General Assembly to pass these bills and help create the fair tax policy that our state deserves.”
The bills currently proposed would require the Department of Revenue to notify businesses when they have made a change to the state’s sales tax law. It also stops the state from going after businesses when their employees fail to correctly report their tipped income. Other bills would help Missouri taxpayers receive refunds for overpayments and encourage faster processing of tax refunds.
The day after the press conference, House members took action on the bills relating to income tax on tipped income, perfecting House Bills 517 and 754, sponsored by Reps. Galen Higdon, a Republican from St. Joseph, and Ron Hicks, a Republican from St. Peters.
The various bills under consideration represent an effort to make positive progress toward achieving the goals of the Missouri 2030 strategic plan for growth. A collaborative effort led by Missouri CEOs, a diverse group of businesses and local chambers of commerce, the Missouri Chamber released the Missouri 2030 plan earlier this year as long-range effort to enhance Missouri’s economy and bring good jobs to our state. One of the plan’s four drivers is “Competing for Jobs,” which includes a call to improve Missouri’s tax climate.
Read the full plan at http://www.MO2030.com.