Lawmaker Proposes New Tax Credit For Missourians Making Political Donations

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Would you donate money to a political campaign if you get some kind of tax benefit for doing so?

One Missouri lawmaker thinks it’s time to give Missourians a tax credit if they donate to candidates for statewide office or local party committees.

“It would give everyday citizens a vote in the money election that now proceeds election day,” said state Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St.Joseph.

After five, six, and even seven figure checks lead to the most expensive gubernatorial election in the nation this year and in Missouri history, Schaaf believes it is time to get more Missourians involved in the process.

He wants Missourians to be able to claim a dollar for dollar tax credit on their state income taxes for making donations to state campaigns and party committees. Missourians would be able to claim a credit of up to $100 per year.

“Candidates won’t have to rely on the big money donors to be able to do things to buy TV ads and so on, because if they’re responsive to the citizens, the citizens will fund them without having to go to the big money people,” Schaaf said.

Missourians just approved caps on donations to candidates and parties, but these could be thrown out in the courts. Those caps do nothing to stop independent spending by big donors and large donations to political action committees.

“The only way to get past that and dilute the effect of big money is to allow every day citizens to have more of a voice,” Schaaf said.

It is why Schaaf calls his proposal the taxation with representation credit.

“People what they’ll be doing is sort of allocating the first $100 of their income tax to help make better public policy, and so you’d truly have no taxation without representation,” Schaaf said.

Arkansas is one of four states currently allowing citizens to claim a tax credit for donating to state campaigns, with a maximum credit of 50 dollars per year. Schaaf plans to file this proposal as a bill ahead of Missouri’s next legislative session, which starts Jan. 4.
 

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