JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House of Representatives followed the Senate’s move yesterday and voted to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 509, the Republican’s priority tax cut legislation.
Missouri House Republicans are one member shy of the 109 needed to override. Rep. Keith English, D-Florissant, joined Republicans in the override effort and helped the House defeat Nixon by a vote of 109-46.
Last year, Republicans failed to override Nixon on a broader tax cut after the Democratic Governor spent the summer campaigning across the state against the bill and 15 Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting an override, largely citing increased prescription drug taxes and potential harm to public schools.
This year’s bill is smaller, and, according to Majority Leader and Speaker-elect John Diehl, a “much simpler” bill.
“This bill focuses on small businesses, which are right at the heart of our economy,” Diehl said.
The bill gradually reduced the top tax rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent over 5 years beginning in 2017 and allows for a 25 percent tax deduction on all business income reported on individual tax returns. After last year’s failed override attempt, Republicans went back to the drawing board and spent months crafting a bill that would appeal to the Party’s more wary members.
All of those Republicans which rejected and override last year, and in fact all Republicans in the House, approved of SB509. Nixon claimed that poor wording in the bill could be interpreted to eliminate all taxes on income above $9,000, an analysis Republicans called “absurd.”
Democrats largely cited a loss in state revenues for vital services as their reason for opposing the bill while supporters say the annual revenue increase triggers provide sufficient fiscal protection.
The tax will begin phasing-in in 2017, provided state revenues have risen that year by $150 million more than the high mark of the previous three fiscal years.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.