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Press Release: Senate Tax Bills Provide Unfair Giveaways to Wealthiest, Leave Communities Reeling

For Immediate Release:  January 16, 2018

Contact: Traci Gleason, Director of Communications

The Missouri Budget Project released an analysis today showing that bills being considered by the Missouri Senate Ways & Means Committee will do little for most Missouri families, pass on costs to middle and lower income Missourians, and leave our communities reeling.

“While the Missouri Budget Project strongly supports some provisions of the bills, as a whole these proposals will make Missouri’s tax system much more unfair for working families, while also crippling the state’s ability to fund the most basic of services,” said Amy Blouin, Executive Director of the Missouri Budget Project.

Both Senate Bill 617 and Senate Bill 611 would dramatically alter our tax code – which as a whole, already leaves middle and lower income households paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes than Missouri’s wealthiest.

Senate Bill 617 would worsen this situation, giving 91 percent of the tax cut to the wealthiest 20 percent of Missourians.

“Senate Bill 617 would give 91 percent of its benefits to the wealthiest twenty percent of Missourians,” continued Blouin. “But the bottom sixty percent of earners would actually see a tax hike.”

The provisions that increase state revenue aren’t enough to make up for the size of the new tax giveaways, drastically reducing state revenue at a time when Missouri is already facing a budget shortfall of nearly $240 million in fiscal year 2019.

“Our state is already struggling to find resources for K-12 classrooms and school buses and home- and community-based services for seniors and our neighbors with disabilities,” said Blouin. “These bills would place Missouri on a fiscal path that would make Kansas’ recent experience with tax cuts look like a cake walk.”

As in Kansas, Missouri would see little alternative other than  increasing regressive sales taxes to fund the most basic of services, making our tax system even more unfair for lower income earners.

The Senate Ways & Means Committee will hear Senate Bills 617 and 611 today at 2 p.m.

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The Missouri Budget Project is nonprofit public policy organization that analyzes state budget, tax, health and economic issues.

 

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