The costly and potentially destructive tax-cut bill in Missouri just died a very deserving death Wednesday in Jefferson City.
By Yael T. Abouhalkah
The Kansas City Star
Its a big victory for Missouri residents, Gov. Jay Nixon, educators and schoolchildren across the state.
The Republican-controlled House failed to override Nixons wise and needed veto of House bill 253. The tax-cut measure was the centerpiece of GOP efforts this year to govern in Jefferson City.
And the vote wasnt really that close. House Speaker Tim Jones, who had staked lots of his reputation on this override, needed 109 votes for that to happen. But he got only 94.
Thats also a big defeat for St. Louis millionaire Rex Sinquefield, who spent several million dollars trying to buy grassroots support for the measure, putting pressure on wavering Republicans to support it during the veto session.
Fortunately, Nixon rallied school boards, teachers, social workers and other Missourians to understand what HB253 would really do.
It would have only provided a very small tax cut for most residents, much larger ones for wealthy residents, all the while cutting up to hundreds of millions of dollars in future funding for valuable state services. Education at the K-12 level was top of that list.
GOP members were almost besides themselves Wednesday arguing in favor of the measure, claiming it would help Missouri compete better with Kansas, which has passed its own brand of stupidity when it comes to tax reductions.
After the vote, a few business interest groups said they were disappointed in the outcome and vowed to fight for another bill in 2014.
But Democrats turned out strongly against the bill, wisely pointing to all the damage that could be done.
The bill also attracted national attention.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry openly campaigned for HB253, saying Missouri needed to cut taxes to fight off challenges from his state and others for companies that want lower taxes. Nixon fought back, pointing out all the ways Missouri is better than Texas when it comes to taxes but also to providing services to its residents.
And The New York Times ran a front-page piece Tuesday that highlighted Nixons good work against the bill.