Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is taking his tax-slashing message on the road, with two speaking events in Missouri to groups funded by St. Louis billionaire and conservative megadonor Rex Sinquefield.
Wednesday afternoon, Brownback addressed a luncheon sponsored by Grow Missouri, a Sinquefield-funded group founded two years ago to push lawmakers to enact tax cuts for individuals and businesses in the state. The title of the luncheon was “Growing Prosperity for Years to Come,” and Grow Missouri tweeted that Brownback would discuss “his tax policies and how we can adopt them.”
Joining Grow Missouri in sponsoring the luncheon were the Associated Industries of Missouri and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The event was by invitation only, with a representative from Sinquefield’s lobbying firm telling The Star that no media would be allowed. Several lawmakers indicated they planned to attend.
Thursday morning, Brownback will be in St. Louis to speak at an event organized by the Show-Me Institute, a conservative think tank founded by Sinquefield.
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The title of that event is “What’s the Real Story in Kansas?”
Last year, Missouri lawmakers passed a $620 million tax cut over the objections of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The cut was seen partially as a response to much deeper tax cuts enacted in Kansas in recent years.
The Missouri cuts phase in over five years, with the first reduction kicking in next year at the earliest.
Brownback was re-elected last year after successfully urging the Kansas Legislature to pass large-scale income tax cuts in 2012 and 2013.
Now lawmakers in Topeka, dominated by conservative Republicans, are searching for ways to erase a projected shortfall of nearly $600 million in the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The tax cuts have been widely blamed for the state government’s falling revenues.