To the editor:
I have watched with great interest the unfolding battle on Missouri House Bill 253, the tax bill Governor Nixon vetoed. As a former Missouri House member who spent 11 years working with the state budget, I add my voice to the many who believe the veto must be sustained. The bill is described by supporters as a tax fairness bill, but in truth, it is anything but fair. If it becomes law, a family of four with an income of $48,277 will get a whooping $6 decrease in taxes. A family of two with a net business income of $250,000 will get a $1,000 tax decrease. Does that sound fair? The personal income tax rate falls one-half of one percent. The corporate tax rate falls 3 percent. Does that sound fair? No matter what the present Budget Committee chair says about HB 253 causing no damage to public schools, as a former budget chair, I’m telling you it will devastate our schools. The Independence, Raytown, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, and almost 60 other public school boards have passed resolutions asking their representatives to sustain the veto. Our elected house members can either protect our schools by sustaining the veto or curry favor with the speaker of the House in order to get favorite appointments, contributions and other perks. In addition, don’t forget that HB 253 would eliminate the tax exemption on prescription drugs. The tax increase on those who purchase prescription drugs would be about $200 million each year, mostly paid by senior citizens. The date of the override attempt is Sept. 11. Contact your representative before then. Our representatives cannot support both education and HB 253. They must choose.