Yael T. Abouhalkah

Chris Koster angers Missouri’s merry band of GOP leaders

Updated: 2013-08-31T23:34:33Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

Republicans across Missouri along with House Speaker Tim Jones just learned a valuable lesson: Be careful what you ask for from Attorney General Chris Koster.

In this case, Jones and his band of merry GOP members wanted Koster to weigh in on whether Gov. Jay Nixon was misleading Missourians.

The Democratic governor, in vetoing the Republican-passed tax measure known as House bill 253, has said it could force the state to cut hundreds of millions of dollars worth of education funding and other state services.

Jones formally requested that Koster, a Democrat, give his “legal opinion” on a special point: whether part of the bill would let Missouri residents retroactively benefit from one of the proposed tax reductions.

That’s where a big part of the drain on state funding could occur.

On Thursday, Koster released a lengthy and pretty clear-cut letter that sided with .... Nixon.

“In the opinion of this office, the plain language of the new legislation suggests that, if certain triggering events set forth in the statute occur, taxpayers may seek refunds of taxes paid in the three preceding tax years,” Koster wrote.

Jones, naturally, was peeved and political.

His lame response partly went this way, saying Koster had sided with “the liberal, tax-and-spend views of the governor and the president.”

In a few weeks, Jones will get his chance to rally the Republican forces to try to override Nixon’s veto.

However, it’s going to be a tough slog, given the legal ammunition that Koster just supplied Nixon with on Thursday.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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