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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Governor encourages citizens to speak out

  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is asking residents of the state to contact their state representatives and senators regarding a promised legislative attempt to override his veto of 10 bills Wednesday that contained a package of special sales tax breaks.
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  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is asking residents of the state to contact their state representatives and senators regarding a promised legislative attempt to override his veto of 10 bills Wednesday that contained a package of special sales tax breaks.
    Speaking Thursday morning during a roundtable discussion with local officials at Hannibal City Hall, Nixon initially urged citizens to “respectfully ask” their elected officials to not support legislative efforts later this summer to override his veto of Senate bills 693, 584, 612, 860, 727, 662, and 829, and House bills 1865, 1296 and 1455, but then amended his statement to “demand.”
    Nixon told those gathered that if the tax breaks become law, they are projected to reduce state revenue by up to $425 million annually. He added that the tax cuts would have an estimated $351 million impact on local tax revenue, hitting rural areas particularly hard.
    “Unlike a recession when you can see better times ahead, this would be permanent,” said the governor.
    Because the revisions to the tax code would be permanent, so would the impact.
    “From fire protection to storm water management, these special breaks for special interests hastily passed by the legislature would undermine the basic public services these communities rely on to support the health, safety and quality of life of their citizens,” Nixon said. “These provisions would begin reducing revenues immediately, and with no guarantee that my vetoes will be sustained, these special interest giveaways will have to be accounted for with tough choices and dramatic spending reductions on the state and local levels.”
    In attendance at Thursday’s event were not only representatives of Hannibal and Marion County, but from Monroe, Ralls and Pike counties. Nixon said the job of legislators is to “make your (city and county officials’) jobs easier, not harder.”
    The bills vetoed Wednesday include new sales tax exemptions for recreation venues, fast food restaurants, power companies, data storage and processing, used vehicles, supplies and equipment used in electricity generation and commercial laundries. 
    “All across Missouri, communities have come together to pass local sales taxes to support local public services and capital improvements,” Gov. Nixonsaid. “These special breaks passed by the General Assembly would siphon these voter-approved resources away from their intended purpose, and into the pockets of the well-connected.”
    A reduction in state sales tax revenue would also mean a cut in funding for K-12 schools (also called the Proposition C sales tax), Highways, Conservation, State Parks, and Soil and Water Conservation Programs. Nixon added that if the sales tax exemptions are implemented, it could actually push property taxes higher.
    Nixon also said the loss of local revenue could impact the repayment of voter-approved bonds issued to finance capital improvements.
    Page 2 of 2 - The governor chided the General Assembly for waiting until virtually the last day of the legislative session to approve the tax breaks, the majority of which were approved without any sort of public hearings.
    “That’s not good policy. You (public) didn’t have a chance to weigh in,” said Nixon, who challenged supporters of the special sales tax breaks to reintroduce the legislation during the next session of the legislature and go through the appropriate steps.

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