Lawmakers should reject Missouri tax cuts for the few – The Examiner

Marvin Sands, Independence To the editor: Recently, Governor Mike Parson announced that he is calling the state legislature into special session this month to formulate an income tax cut for all Missourians. Except the tax cut doesn’t include all Missourians, but does include the governor’s most influential and wealthy friends.

Technically, the governor is offering two tax proposals, but as part of an overall plan — one for farmers and one for his wealthier friends — and the tax cut would be permanent. Specifically, the plan:

• Reduce the maximum income tax rate from the current 5.3% to 4.8%.

• Increase the standard deduction by $2,000 for single filers and $4,000 for joint filers.

• Eliminate the first tax bracket – essentially exempting the first $1,000 of income from tax.

The tax plan would reduce general state revenue by more than $950 million per calendar year and take effect Jan. 1, 2023, but would only affect half of the 2023 fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2022. What makes this tax plan so unnecessary is that schools, public safety, health care and other critical needs would see a substantial loss of needed revenue. Think a bit more broadly – ​​fiscal year 2024 begins July 1, 2023, and as such the state would lose a full year of revenue due to the extreme loss of this tax proposal.

In addition, the proposed tax plan would weigh heavily in favor of the wealthiest Missourians and exclude 33% of Missourians (the state’s poorest and oldest citizens on fixed incomes) entirely. To put this into a larger context, the wealthiest citizens of Missouri would see a tax benefit of approximately $6,024 while the poorest citizens of Missouri would see a benefit of only $11.

Also, the lower the income in Missouri, the more state and local taxes the person pays as a share of what one earns. Missouri families in the lowest income quintile pay 9.9% of their income in state and local taxes, while the top 1% pay only 6.2%.

The bottom line is this: Parson’s tax plan heavily favors his wealthy friends and neighbors and entirely excludes Missouri’s poorest and those on fixed incomes.

The Legislature should reject this whole idea of ​​a tax cut and move on to better ideas that positively impact all Missourians, not just the select few.

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