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State Auditor Says she needs more Access to do her Job

April 18, 2005
By: Dan Frumson
State Capital Bureau

The Missouri State Auditor Claire McCaskill charges that she does not have enough access to tax information. Dan Frumson has more from the state Capitol.

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Claire McCaskill says her office does not have the data required to decide if certain tax credits are a good deal for Missouri tax payers.

At the Joint Committee on Tax Policy hearing, Claire McCaskill urged the committee to amend pending legislation so the state auditor's office can provide what McCaskill calls independent analysis and audit work.

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"These audits have been saying this since two-thousand-and-one; We don't have enough data! We don't have enough data! We don't have enough data! And then we had a scandal."

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McCaskill said she remains optimistic that bi-partisan support will help get the job done.

From the state Capitol, I'm Dan Frumson.

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Missouri parents paying for college tuition could see a tax credit. Dan Frumson has more from the state Capitol.

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State Auditor Claire McCaskill says she wants to help families pay for college tuition by creating of a tax credit.

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"If college students votes in the same numbers as the elderly, we'd be spending a lot more time on college tuition and maybe not as much time on prescription drugs. College tuition is out of reach for many many families. It's gotten so expensive. And in fact, the University of Missouri tuition is, I believe, the highest in the Big Twelve. This is where we should not be first."

Vice-Chairman of the Tax Policy Committee Republican Senator Michael Gibbons says while the new tax credit would help Missouri families, the committee must consider the entire tax code and existing credits before it can accurately recommend an additional credit.

From the state Capitol, I'm Dan Frumson

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The Missouri State Auditor wants more access to tax credit information. Dan Frumson has more from the state Capitol.

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The Joint Committee on Tax Policy heard testimony from Auditor Claire McCaskill on tax credits and her overall level of access to these government documents.

Democratic Senator and committee member Victor Callahan supported McCaskill throughout the hearing, saying the middle class benefits by having an auditor determine what tax policies work the best.

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"And I don't want to just have this kinda sterile debate were the right wants to preserve credits for business and the left wants to get more money and send it to Jefferson City to pay for some failing federal program. I just wand the people to keep the money. I want the middle class to succeed in this."

McCaskill also proposed a tax credit for families who pay for college tuition.

From the state Capitol, I'm Dan Frumson.