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Both Sides Sound Off At Sales Tax Hearing


Jefferson City, Mo. – Supporters and opponents of scrapping the state income tax in favor of an expanded sales tax sounded off on the issue at a Missouri Senate committee.

Among the resolution's supporters was lobbyist and former GOP House Member Ed Robb. He told the Senate committee on fiscal oversight that the measure would transform Missouri into a "mecca for investment and job opportunities."

"States without income taxes have outperformed states with them at least since 1997, which is the last time that we benchmarked state gross domestic product numbers," said Robb.

Opponents testified that if approved, new taxes would be levied on such things as rent, food, utilities and medical services, as well as eliminating the use of state tax credits. Pat Dougherty with St. Louis Catholic Charities says that part of the resolution would make it almost impossible for them to help their clients.

"We use tax credits for adoption and pregnancy and youth opportunity and neighborhood assistance, so when you pull the rug out from under us and our ability to help those, you're really pulling the rug out from the partnership that over decades and generations has developed in this state," said Dougherty.

If the resolution passes out of the General Assembly, it would go before voters in November.

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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