Gov. Jay Nixon warned Monday of a possible credit downgrade for Missouri if his veto of a tax cut package is overturned.
By DAVE HELLING
At a news conference at Commerce Bank in downtown Kansas City, Nixon cited notices from three ratings agencies — Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch — all of which, he said, hinted at downgrades if the tax measure becomes law.
“The General Assembly can and must step back from this ledge,” Nixon told reporters.
Missouri’s credit is rated AAA by Standard and Poor’s, a rating it has held for at least a decade.
Nixon said a downgrade could increase the cost of borrowing for the state, and for local governments, as well as make Missouri less attractive for businesses.
From Anne Marie Moy, spokeswoman for Grow Missouri:
“Unfortunately, Gov. Nixon continues to employ unfounded scare tactics to divert attention away from the importance of passing into law the first state income tax reduction in nearly 100 years, while at the same time ignoring the very real threat of doing nothing...
“... The governor also fails to recognize that lowering taxes is a very effective way to stimulate the economy by attracting businesses and increasing consumer spending, as evidenced by Kansas, which has collected more than $160M in additional revenue since lowering its state income tax; and Oklahoma, which has collected record revenues after reducing its income tax to the lowest in state history.
“At 47th in the nation in terms of GDP growth, it is vital that we take steps to rebuild our state’s economy and put Missouri on competitive footing with other states, particularly our neighboring states.”