Maurice Harris
In the Springfield News-Leader today, Sen. Matt Bartle discusses in an op-ed piece the veto of HB 327 (aka The Quality Jobs Act). He mentions the effects of tax credits on the legislative process in Jefferson City:
Time and again the lobbyists for special interest groups tell the
legislature that if only their particular industry could be granted an
exemption from state taxes that it would be a great boon to Missouri's
public coffers — a few dollars investment up front and there will be
light at the end of the economic tunnel. This sales pitch is repeated
so often that it is almost a cliché in Jefferson City.

It has become such a cliché that there are now over $500 million worth of tax credits in the Missouri statutes. If HB 327 had been signed into law, it would have added an extra $100 million in tax credits. This bill would have been akin to spending like a drunken sailor, for all the increased marginal tax rates that other taxpayers would have had to cover in the name of economic development. True economic development, as I, and many others, have stated in the past, is about having lower taxes and fewer regulations. Sen. Bartle also says it well:
Are you the recipient of a Missouri tax credit? If not, you are
actually paying for someone else's tax credit. Wouldn't it be better to
reduce the number of tax credits so we could lower everyone's taxes?
Tax credits have the state picking winners and losers in the
marketplace — something government is ill-equipped to do.

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Maurice Harris