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Battle Lines Drawn on Proposal to Scrap Missouri Income Tax

By Frank Morris


Kansas City, MO – The proposal to scrap Missouri's income tax to pass a constitutional amendment doing that, is being promoted by Rex Sinquefield, the same guy behind the state law, passed by voters last year, requiring votes on the earnings tax in Kanas City and St. Louis. Supporters say ending state taxes on income would ignite the state's economy. They say beefing up the sales tax would make back all the money the state will lose on income taxes, and more.
Opponents counter that it's an "everything tax" that would punish the people who can least afford it, the old and poor. Mark Jorgenson, the regional CEO for US Bank, and the Chairman of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City says it would hurt Missouri business.

"This would chase business into the neighboring state. And that would be devastating to business on the Missouri side of the state line," says Jorgenson.

The other big argument opponents have, is that the plan that might come before voters would leave a gaping, multi-billion dollar hole in the state budget. They launched their PR campaign against the proposal, in an attempt to head it off, before supporters get the signatures to put it on the ballot.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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