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Sides Battle for Influence in Tax Bill's Future

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A political fight is getting hotter as the summer goes on, and it shows no sign of ending until the September veto session.
It almost feels like six million Missourians against one billionaire

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --  A political fight is getting hotter as the summer goes on, and it shows no sign of ending until the September veto session.

The Missouri legislature passed an income tax cut bill during the last session. The governor vetoed it, saying it's flawed and will cost too much.

Supporters are calling the bill the first income-tax cut in nearly a hundred years. It was one of their most touted accomplishments.

Now, one side with big money and another with big names are entrenching with the final showdown set for Jefferson City in September.

The governor has problems with the bill, and says it comes with an $800 million price tag each year.

On the governor's side is the Coalition for Missouri's Future. It's made up of nearly fifty organizations including the Missouri School Board's Association, AFL-CIO, and Service Employees International Union.

On the other side, Grow Missouri and partners are responsible for ads running across the state.

Grow Missouri has about a dozen partners including Americans for Prosperity, the Missouri Restaurant Association and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

"It almost feels like six million Missourians against one billionaire," says Gov. Nixon. "I like our side of that debate."

The big backer of Grow Missouri is financier and philanthropist Rex Sinquefield. 

He's invested $1.3 million in the organization so far and he's given donations to other groups such as the Missouri Chamber on top of that.

The treasurer of Grow Missouri says he hasn't seen ads from the opposition of the bill. However, he says the governor is still getting his message out.

"He's been able to use his bully pulpit of governor as his advertising," says Aaron Willard of Grow Missouri.

"Reducing taxes is the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do," says Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

KOLR10/KOZL asked Rep. Jones if this could come down to three or four votes.

"Only three Republicans voted against this bill during session," says Jones. "So if you're just looking at those numbers that would probably be accurate."

Willard, says he hopes that ads continue to run through the September veto session.

Gov. Nixon has already withheld $400 million from the budget, in reaction to the bill.

Speaker Jones accuses the governor of fear-mongering and using scare tactics.

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