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Senator Will Kraus Denounces Governor’s Veto of...
Senator Will Kraus Denounces Governor’s Veto of SB 509
May 1, 2014
JEFFERSON CITY — Senator Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, spoke out against the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 509, a tax reform bill designed to return money into the hands of Missouri taxpayers to jump start our lagging economy. The measure easily passed both chambers of the General Assembly.
“I am disappointed that the governor chose to ignore the benefits of the tax cuts in SB 509. Not only does this responsible tax reform put money back in the hands of the people who earned it, it will also act as an economic driver for the state of Missouri,” said Sen. Kraus. “With a two-year delay and aggressive triggers designed to protect current budget levels, SB 509 is specifically designed to use a portion of our future revenue growth to stimulate Missouri’s economy.”
Senate Bill 509 will not take effect until 2017. Once begun, the tax cuts are rolled in over a five-year period, and no new cuts will take place unless revenues are $150 million higher than the highest revenue over the last three years.
“The governor continues to ignore these important protections in his public appearances,” said Sen. Kraus. “SB 509 is written to guarantee no loss of current revenue, no cuts to current funding levels, and no harm to public education. To insinuate otherwise is a blatant misrepresentation of the bill.”
SB 509 cuts individual tax rates from 6 percent to 5.5 percent over the five-year period. It also phases in a 25 percent deduction for the smallest businesses, those who pay taxes through their personal tax form. The legislation adds an additional $500 deduction for individuals who make less than $20,000. SB 509 also adjusts the current tax brackets, last set in the 1930s, for inflation.
“Each provision in SB 509 is designed to help individuals who file taxes on an individual basis,” continued Sen. Kraus. “That includes the many small businesses — businesses owned by our neighbors, families and friends — that have not benefited from previous business tax reform. These are the businesses that employ up to 80 percent of Missouri workers.”
Senator Kraus also condemned the governor’s political posturing on the wording of SB 509’s reduction of brackets. A former Supreme Court Justice, expert Certified Public Accountants, the Economic Department at the University of Missouri (EPARC), various business groups, and the governor’s own Department of Revenue and Office of Administration Budget and Planning all have weighed in at various points, affirming the Legislature’s position.
“The governor continues to grasp at straws and take the focus off the real issues. It is obvious he knows his scare tactics from last summer were not going to work again on legislators, so he invented a new issue to draw media attention,” said Sen. Kraus. “Even his administration professionals interpreted the bill the way we intended it to be read. I have no doubt the language would be upheld by courts.”
Senator Kraus called on the Missouri General Assembly to move swiftly to override the governor’s veto of SB 509. An override would start in the Senate and then moves to the House.
“Based on discussions with leadership and members of both chambers, I am hopeful that the General Assembly will quickly override the governor’s veto and pass the first tax rate cut for Missourians in almost 100 years,” concluded Sen. Kraus.
For more information on this issue or any of Sen. Kraus’ sponsored legislation, please visit www.senate.mo.gov/kraus.