HB253 will create an $800 million hole in Missouri’s budget once fully phased-in. This gap, which is equivalent of one-quarter of the entire public school appropriation and more than the entire general revenue budget for both public safety and corrections, will weaken the foundation that supports business and commerce in the state.Businesses rely on an educated and qualified workforce, a sound transportation infrastructure, and a secure workplace to grow and thrive. Enacting HB 253 puts these necessities at risk and threatens to stifle entrepreneurship, halt public works projects, and inject uncertainty in Missouri’s business climate.
Businesses already benefit from the state’s low tax burden. A recent Federation of Tax Administrators survey ranks Missouri as the 6th lowest tax burden in the nation. Altering tax policy offers no economic advantage, but it will serve to slow the growth of many businesses, especially those that rely on skilled talent to produce their goods and services. Slashing investments in P-12 and higher education will stymy the state’s best economic development tool and devastate the economy in the long-term.
A crippled state budget places more scrutiny on Missouri’s bond rating, which is currently one of the best in the nation. A downgraded bond rating leads to higher interest costs and cuts into available capital for building or repairing roads, schools, or college campuses. This means fewer construction jobs and less capacity to keep pace with Missouri’s infrastructure demands. Additionally, Governor Nixon has already held back funds from much needed capital improvement projects in case proponents’ override attempts are successful. As a result, the bill is delaying – and possibly even eliminating – new jobs just as Missouri begins to recover from the most severe recession in recent memory.
This tax scheme creates loopholes for accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists and sticks hardworking Missourians with higher tuition costs, higher property taxes on homes and businesses, and new taxes on prescription drugs and college textbooks. HB 253 doesn’t cut your taxes; it delivers you a new bill.
House Bill 253 is unfair to families, businesses, farmers, seniors, teachers, children, and YOU. Yet, proponents of HB 253 have expressed an interest in overriding the Governor’s veto at the General Assembly’s annual veto session in September. Contact your legislators and urge them to vote NO on the override of HB 253!