JEFFERSON CITY - Without any alterations, the Missouri Ways and Means Committee voted to pass an income tax cut bill onto the House Rules committee. Legislative staff estimate the bill would cost the state $620 million in tax collections.
The Republican-backed bill would reduce the maximum tax rate on personal income by one-half of a percent over a period of years, beginning in 2017. But, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Will Kraus, R-Jackson County, said the cut will not go into effect until the state's general revenue exceeds the amount of money collected the previous year by at least $150 million.
Those in opposition to the bill said it benefits only the state's highest incomes.
"We don't even have enough money to fund the state's infrastructure," Rep. Jon Carpenter, D-Gladstone, said. He added that the House recently passed a sales tax increase to help fund state revenue.
There was an attempt early in the session by Gov. Jay Nixon and Kraus to form tax cut legislation that worked for both parties. But that compromise effort fell apart when a Republican amendment added on in the Senate created a larger tax cut.
Nixon announced Thursday afternoon that the bill would be too costly to the state.
"$620 million is almost exactly how much it would take to fund the foundation formula and fund higher education at a level that will get us another tuition freeze for a year.. that's too much," Nixon said.
The bill now awaits a hearing with the House Rules committee.