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Missouri Senate Approves Tax Overhaul To Compete With Kansas


The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a phased-in tax overhaul designed to help the Show-Me State compete with neighboring Kansas, which recently slashed its tax rates. 

The bill would lower state income taxes for individuals and corporations by three-quarters of a percentage point while raising the state sales tax by half a point.  Both would be phased in over a five-year period. The measure would also attempt to collect sales taxes on purchases made over the Internet. 

GOP Senator Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit says it would result in a revenue loss of around $450 million a year.

“So I think we can definitely absorb it within our current growth, and that’s regardless of what we do with tax credit reform or other things that are going to save our state money,” says Kraus.

Democratic Senator Paul LeVota of Independence says the bill will gut much-needed state revenues.

“We should be the Show-Me State, not the ‘Me, too’ state,” says LeVota. “They can’t fund their schools, they’re going to have trouble, but instead of waiting and seeing the impact of this experiment, we’ve dived in with this bill.”

Democrats failed to add on an amendment that would have fully funded the formula for K-12 schools. 

It needs one more vote by the full Senate before moving over to the Missouri House.

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