Press "Enter" to skip to content

Column: TJ Berry discusses HB253, governor’s actions

Plagiarism is the act of “stealing and passing off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own use (another’s production) without crediting the source,” according to

The superintendents of my school districts have been making calls to try and persuade me to drop the override of HB 253. During one of those conversations I asked the superintendent to explain the district’s policy on plagiarism. He had a very good answer about how it was not tolerated and that the assignment was scored with an F. I then asked where he was receiving his information about HB 253. He replied that he was receiving it from MASA, the Missouri Association of School Administrators, and they were getting it from the Governor. I asked how his reciting their data without referencing the original source or doing his own research, in regards to the Missouri Constitution, Article 13, that prohibits tax reform from being retroactive, was different from plagiarism.  Educational, journalistic, and political leaders should be responsible for seeking out full truth and then making an informed decision on HB 253.

Rep. TJ Berry
Rep. TJ Berry

The Governor is telling half-truths and broadcasting them at very high levels.

Not so long ago we won the battle to keep Ford, and the Claycomo plant here for a long term investment, but then we did nothing else as employer after employer moved across the state line. Like it or not, job creators view tax policy as a cost of doing business because in today’s global economy competition demands those costs be figured into a bottom line. When the cost of doing business across the board for any business is cheaper in another state, Missouri businesses will, as they have already done, move across the boundary lines. It is not only the moving of established companies, it is also the loss of attracting new business from around the world. It is frustrating to witness this reality. If you owned a company and you had chosen the Kansas City area for your next expansion would you not look at the area that offered 6% to 7% lower cost of doing business? I know I would.

When this bill passed the legislature, as it does now, it had broad based support. The Governor’s Office even had a hand in crafting some of the legislation; there was overwhelming support in each house of the Legislature on a bipartisan level.  These are all facts that have been largely omitted or simply ignored from most news sources. Just like the fact that Kansas, after cutting taxes, has now reported that revenues are coming in higher than projected, or that the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics has documented the Kansas side of the Kansas City statistical area is growing while the Missouri side is largely stagnant.

I urge you to contact your representatives and senators, tell them you stand for lower taxes. Tell them you stand in support of HB 253 and the override of the Governor’s disgraceful scare tactics.

T.J. Berry
State Representative 38th District