Nixon: $620M Tax Cut 'Not The Way To Move' Missouri

By Matt Lupoli |

Published 04/17 2014 07:57PM

Updated 04/17 2014 10:20PM

OZARK, Mo. -- After a speech at Ozark High School about his proposal to add more money to education, Gov. Jay Nixon told KOLR 10 News on that he does not think the general assembly's just-passed tax cut bill is good for the state economy.

"I don't think that's the right direction for our state to move," Nixon said. "That's not the way to move this economy forward."

It's not likely the bill will net the governor's signature, since he says the cuts are unnecessary and unhelpful.

"We're a low tax state -- sixth lowest in the country. I've cut taxes four times. Experiments like these especially benefit the wealthy," Nixon said. "Underneath this bill a lawyer or lobbyist making $500,000 gets $125,000 that they don't even have to pay taxes on, plus a tax cut. And the average family by 2022, when this is all phased in, gets a $32 tax cut."

The bill cuts individual income tax by a half-percent over the next several years. It also includes some tax deductions for businesses.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Will Kraus, calls it a win for Missourians.

"This bill will give taxpayer dollars back to the people , putting more money in the economy and will grow the economy," Kraus said recently before fellow lawmakers.

Nixon said the cuts will cost the state $620 million dollars annually. At the same time, he's asking for $278 million more in next year's budget for education.

Nixon said he believes an agreement can be made to avoid ongoing wrangling, similar to a situation that developed over another tax cut proposal last year.

"I tried to work out a solution with Sen. Kraus earlier in the year. In fact, we made a deal in which we'd see a tax cut that would help working families at the same time get reforms on our tax credit program ... We had a real framework for them at the beginning of the session, and I'm hoping we can get back to that."

If the governor does veto the bill, the legislature could attempt to override his decision.

Nixon commended Ozark High students for a 97 percent graduation rate. He said the school is an example for great education, but that every school in the state could be improved with more rigor and technology.

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