The Missouri Senate Ways & Means Committee is considering two bills that would dramatically alter Missouri’s tax code, beginning in 2019. While the bills contain a few good provisions that the Missouri Budget Project supports, those features pale in comparison to the severe consequences of tax changes that will leave our communities reeling and shift costs to lower income taxpayers.
- Both bills would provide large giveaways to wealthy Missourians, at the expense of everyone else. In 2019, Missourians with average incomes of $1.387 million would get around $11,000 under SB 617, while most working Missourians would see little impact or even tax increases.
- In fact, an analysis by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy found that 91% of the tax cut would flow to the wealthiest 20% of Missourians.
- Like in Kansas, Missouri would have little alternative but to move toward regressive sales taxes, making our tax system even more unfair for lower income earners.
Starving Our Communities
- The tax provisions included in the bills that would increase revenue are not enough to make up for the size of the new giveaways for top wealth holders. In fact, the net effect of SB 617 would cut $464 million from state general revenue in 2019, while SB 611 would reduce state revenue by more than $1 billion.1 These cuts would come at a time when Missouri is struggling to meet its budget needs due to numerous loopholes and corporate giveaways, and would require additional and steep cuts to community agencies.
- In addition, SB 617 would eliminate the individual income tax over time, increasing its cost each year and eventually resulting in an annual cut of $6.6 billion. Individual income tax currently provides $6.6 billion to support the FY 2018 budget, or 36% of all state-source funding (not including federal funds). There would simply be no way for Missouri to compensate for the loss of revenue.
- Both bills would place Missouri on a fiscal path that would make Kansas’ recent experience with tax cuts look like a cake walk.