JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - On Monday, the Senate overrode Gov. Nixon's veto of Senate Bill 509. The House voted to do the same Tuesday.
The legislation will cut Missouri's top individual income tax rate for the first time in almost 100 years and make the state the third to enact a special deduction for business income reported on personal tax returns.
Organizations and lawmakers from across the Show-Me state reacted to the decision in different ways.
Governor Nixon said,"Missouri families and businesses know that public education is the best economic development tool there is, and that is why I vetoed Senate Bill 509. Senate Bill 509 fails to prioritize or adequately protect public education at a time when quality public schools are more important than ever to our ability to create jobs in the global economy."
Speaker Tim Jones supported the override.
"Missouri's economy has become stagnant under Governor Nixon's watch. The median income has dropped by more than $1,500, and all too often the news reports that yet another Missouri company has moved just across the border to take advantage of more business-friendly policies. Passing this common sense tax reform into law is the first step toward transforming Missouri into a pro-growth state," said Jones.
Secretary of State Jason Kander issued this statement following the override:
"I was encouraged when the legislature finally began to consider providing eligible Missourians with a more convenient way to exercise their constitutional right to vote," Kander said. "Unfortunately, it appears the legislative push for early voting was nothing more than a political game. By eliminating weekends and shortening the early voting period, the legislature has shown Missourians that this bill is simply a political strategy to counteract the citizen-driven early voting initiative petition," said Kander.
"Considering the safeguards that we cemented in our tax reform bill, such as revenue growth guarantees and modest incremental reductions, as well as my proposal to adjust the tax brackets for inflation which will immediately begin protecting Missouri's poorest earners, this tax reform bill is a more than fiscally-responsible, fair and rooted in common sense," said Rep. Paul Curtman.
State Rep. Jeff Roorda (D-Barnhart) said, "We have two weeks left in the legislative session, plenty of time to fix the fatal flaw contained in SB 509 and to pass tax reform on another bill, albeit imperfect tax reform, that doesn't involve bankrupting the state, tanking our AAA bond rating, defunding public education and public safety, and slashing every important program in Missouri that serves seniors, children, veterans and the disabled. The costs of this bill simply outweigh the benefits."
A group of Missouri Democrats, including minority leader Jake Hummel, minority whip John Rizzo, caucus chair Chris Kelly, and assistant minority leader Gail McCann Beatty denounced Tuesday's veto override.
"Today will forever be remembered as the day public education died in Missouri. The state hasn't fully funded local public schools at the level required by law since the 1990s, and taking a massive bite out of the state budget to give tax cuts to the wealthy ensures full funding of education never will happen. Instead of more state support, local schools from Kansas City to Cape Girardeau can count on less funding in the future."
The Missouri Chamber supported the veto override Tuesday.
"This is a historic day for Missouri. What we have now is a law that takes a cautious, responsible approach to reducing our income tax burden. This law will provide stimulus for our small employers while protecting education funding," said Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. "This tax cut illustrates the Missouri General Assembly's commitment to job growth and creating a business-friendly climate. On behalf of the state's entire business community, I'd like to thank them for this successful effort."
The Coalition for Missouri's Future said, "The revenue losses resulting from SB 509 will create shortfalls that can't help but reduce funding available for education, health & social services, and infrastructure. Of course, by cowardly delaying implementation until many legislators are out of office, legislators won't have to face voter wrath when Missourians begin to suffer the consequences of this tax scheme. What's more, when it becomes clear that these tax cuts aren't the panacea promised by its supporters, legislators can't turn back because of the state's Hancock amendment."
The Associated Industries of Missouri supported the override.
"Rep. Nolte was really the first to 'get it' when it came to the link between tax cuts for business and economic growth," said McCarty. "Then Sen. Kraus and Sen. Schmitt and Rep. Berry and Rep. Koenig came along with their strong leadership through some pretty dark times. And finally, we couldn't have done this without the strong steady hand of the floor leader in the House. Rep. Diehl took interest in this bill early and made sure that it received smooth sailing in a chamber where the waters can get choppy."
The Missouri Budget Project said, The service cuts that will be required as a result of SB 509 will devastate Missourians' quality of life and ability to compete. Businesses rely on an educated workforce, but schools and university funding will fall short. Missourians and businesses expect safe, stable communities, but law enforcement, mental health, and social services will be left scrambling for budget crumbs."
"The state legislators who voted to override Governor Nixon's veto and pass SB 509 have won an important victory for the Missouri taxpayer and small business owners," explained Patrick Werner, State Director of Americans for Prosperity. "This Tax cut is an important first step towards limited government and away from the tax and spend policies of the current administration and previous state legislatures. We hope this is the start of serious budget reform including constitutional limits on future state spending so we can free Missouri's economy," said Americans For Prosperity.