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Examiner
  • Senator outlines tax-cut plan

  • State Sen. Will Kraus is offering a stout defense of his tax-cutting plan, a plan critics have said could endanger funding for schools and other high priorities.

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  • State Sen. Will Kraus is offering a stout defense of his tax-cutting plan, a plan critics have said could endanger funding for schools and other high priorities.
    “We need to something to bring more people to the state of Missouri vs. taxing more the people who are here,” Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, said at last Friday’s Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon, which was a legislative forum.
    Kraus said Missouri has been lagging behind other states in growth and needs to address that. He also said growth in the Medicaid program and the state’s expansive tax credits for issues such as historic preservation and low-income housing are causing huge budget headaches, threatening things such as school funding.
    His bill, which the Senate has passed and is now in the House, would cut income taxes and partially offset the loss of revenue with an increase in the sales tax.
    “It is a broad-based tax cut to all Missourians who pay taxes. ... And it an effort to keep business in Missouri,” Kraus said.
    Leaders among Republicans, who control both houses of the General Assembly, have said Missouri needs to respond to sharp tax cuts for businesses in Kansas or start seeing businesses – and their taxes – leave.
    “If we do nothing, I believe there will be an impact to our budget.” Kraus said.
    Democrats have taken a different view, arguing that business owners are more interested in issues such as good roads and the quality of schools than just their tax burden. Gov. Jay Nixon has expressed doubts about the Kraus idea.
    “My contention has always been that we need to be the Show-Me State, not the Me-Too State,” state Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, said last week to an Independence Chamber of Commerce group visiting the Capitol.
    The Kraus plan, he argued, would reduce the state’s general revenues by about one-fourth.
    “We just aren’t going to be able to fund those things that we normally do,” he said.
     
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