MO Gov. Nixon visits Carthage to explain veto of tax break bills

MO Gov. Nixon visits Carthage to explain veto of tax break bills

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon visits Carthage to talk about why he vetoed some tax exemption bills. The bills were passed by the General Assembly in the final hours of the legislative session. They were then vetoed by Governor Nixon earlier this week.

The Governor called the bills fiscally irresponsible, saying they would have drained resources from local budgets. According to the Governor, the Senate bills contained more than a dozen breaks for a variety of industries. Governor Nixon says those breaks would have reduced state revenue by up to $425 million a year, and local revenue by up to $351 million a year, starting July 1st.

These revenues help support local emergency services and various maintenance projects.

“We’ve talked publicly about this, provided these estimates, briefed local officials. I think the main thing our opponents are upset about in numbers is, we’re right,” says Governor Nixon.

“Quite frankly, I think if you were to do a worst case scenario, it could be much worse than this (impact estimates). And plus, these are permanent. Any numbers we’re talking about are just for one year. When you talk about some of the obligations, when the voters down here said lets continue our local sales tax so that we can do over the next 15 or 20 years $44 million worth of projects, taking away the ability to do that, to fix roads, to fix these areas, is a problem,” says Governor Nixon.

“The processes weren’t followed. In the latter part of the session, folks got very, very loose. I think a significant number of the members were basically unaware of what they were doing,” says Governor Nixon.

“The numbers that we received from the Department of Revenue were about $650,000 negative impact to the City. We are in the process of trying to adopt our 2015 budget. This would have a significant negative impact on our operations,” says Carthage City Administrator Tom Short.

Governor Nixon says with no guarantee his vetoes will be sustained, these “special interest giveaways” will have to be accounted for with tough choices and dramatic spending reductions on the State and local levels.

We reached out to Missouri Representative Eric Burlison, whose staffers say supported these bills. We have no heard back from his office.