Nixon questions Sinquefield involvement in latest tax cut bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon suggested on Tuesday that something more mischievous may be at play with a provision in the legislature’s tax bill that his office believes could eliminate state income taxes on incomes of more than $9,000.

“Either this provision was an accident – another example of carelessness,” Nixon said in prepared remarks, “or this provision was placed in the bill deliberately at behest of one ideological billionaire in St. Louis.”

Nixon repeated the line at campaign stops on Tuesday, as he barnstormed the state in opposition to Senate Bill 509.

Nixon said he had no evidence that Sinquefield was directly at play, and that he was not accusing him of being directly involved. But he did say elimination of the state income tax was “positionally harmonious” with Sinquefield’s idea of getting rid of

“This is exactly what he’s been trying to do. He wants to get rid of the income tax. That’s not a hidden thing out there. That’s exactly what he wants to do,” he said.

Nixon on Tuesday was critical of a provision in the legislature’s latest tax cut bill that he interpreted could potentially eliminate the state’s top income bracket, paid by all Missourians earning more than $9,000 a year. The bill reduces the top rate to 5.5 percent, and once it gets there, would eliminate the top provision. Nixon’s administration is arguing that the bill does not replace the provision with a new top rate.

The fiscal note for the bill, which Department of Revenue was a part of creating, claims the tax cut could cost the state as much as $620 million annually once fully implemented. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering said earlier in the day the bill would have costed the state $4.8 billion in revenue, if applied to tax year 2012.

Nixon said lawmakers deliberately avoided amendments on the bill in the House in order to “rush” the bill through to place it on his desk in time for it to be brought back up before lawmakers head home for the summer. Despite his tour criticizing the bill, Nixon stopped short of announcing what action he would take.

Republicans would need a united caucus and one Democrat in order to override a likely gubernatorial veto. One Democrat, Jeff Roorda, joined Republicans in supporting the bill when it was sent to the governor last week.

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