Nixon slams legislature’s tax incentive “spending spree”

– Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon went on the offensive Wednesday against the legislature for their efforts to quietly expand the state’s tax incentive code on the final day of session.

During stops in Kansas City and St. Louis, Nixon said legislatures had thrown away the balance of the budget and that it will “need to be corrected.”

“From special breaks for fast food restaurants to power companies, the only thing these giveaways have in common is that they were not accounted for in either the state budget or in the budgets of the cities, counties, and fire districts they would affect,” he said. “By going on a $776 million special interest spending spree, members of the legislature have broken their own budget, and I’m prepared to fix it.”

Nixon was referring to House Bills 1296 and 1865, and Senate Bills 584, 612, 662, 693, 727 and 860, all passed on Friday, May 16. The analysis, provided by the Office of Administration’s Division of Budget, claims a $425.1 million annual reduction in state sales tax collections and a $351.4 million reduction in local sales taxes due to the legislation.

During his trips, Nixon made implicit threats to withhold money in the upcoming budget (“When you reduce the amount of revenue coming in, you have to reduce the amount of spending that goes out,” he said), but there is another option: He could veto the bills with the tax incentive language. Two spokespeople for Nixon on Wednesday were not responsive to a question about which action Nixon was considering on the bills.

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