A new study by a liberal public interest group says Missouri could afford to pay for public employee pensions in the state if it stopped handing out so many tax breaks to businesses.
The group —Good Jobs First
— says recent steps to tighten pension eligiblity in Missouri, and increase employee contributions, would be unnecessary if the state collected more from corporations.
“The total of these corporate subsidies, official tax breaks and unofficial tax dodging amounts to more than $840 million per year,” the group said.
The group studied ten states. Kansas, which some studies suggest has a more serious public pension problem, was not studied.
, a Democrat, is a strong proponent of targeted tax breaks for businesses.
He opposes general tax relief in the state.
Writes columnistDavid Sirota
: “Many politicians claiming pensions are bankrupting their communities are really saying something quite different. They are saying that pension benefits must be cut so that there’s enough money around to keep financing the far-more-expensive corporate subsidies.
“In the process, they are engineering a massive wealth transfer from middle-class public employees to wealthy private corporations.”