(The Center Square) – As Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson began traveling throughout the state on Tuesday to promote a $700 million income tax reduction during a special session in September, Democrats criticized the plan.
“The Governor’s Special Session is an election season ploy to change the subject after suddenly discovering that eliminating Missourians’ reproductive rights isn’t the winning issue Republicans thought it would be,” House Minority Leader Crystal Quade posted on social media. “It is also a textbook example of fiscal irresponsibility.”
Parson announced he would reconvene the legislature on Sept. 6 to reduce the income tax rate from 5.3% to 4.8% as the state posted a record surplus of more than $4 billion in fiscal year 2021. Parson also wants six-year sunset clauses on agriculture tax credits and vetoed a bill in July with two-year sunsets. He said the programs need several years to become effective and other tax credit programs have six-year sunsets.
“That bill was the product of months of negotiations and enjoyed solid bipartisan support,” Quade said. “Rather than starting from scratch in a rushed special session and opening the door to all manner of taxpayer-subsidized handouts for the governor’s, friends, the wiser course would be to override the veto.”
Other Democrats said the reduction in income tax would not help middle and lower-class families as they would continue to have a larger portion of earnings on sales, use and property taxes. Parson said if the economy remains strong in the coming months, he would be willing to lower the income tax again if this cut passes.
“I mean… he actually says these things,” Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, posted on social media. “Let’s give up a billion a year on tax cuts (mostly for the wealthy), while inflation means our state budget needs to grow significantly *just* to keep steady with the lowest-paid state workers and lowest-funded schools.”
Parson said the bill would be introduced in the Senate on the first day of the special session.
“I welcome Governor Parson’s call for a special session, and I plan to file a bill on the first day to cut taxes for every family in Missouri while providing the agriculture community the support it deserves as our state’s largest industry,” Senator Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, posted on social media. “I am personally pleased by the recent comments of my Republican colleagues and wholeheartedly welcomed their support of my legislation to give Missourians back more of their money.”