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Missouri Tax Posturing May Influence Other States

Sep 12, 2013
Originally published on September 12, 2013 5:50 am

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon used some fancy footwork to ensure his veto of a tax cut stayed in place — even though it faced a supermajority of Republicans in the Missouri House and Senate

Nixon said he vetoed the tax cut because the $700 million price tag was "unaffordable." But he knew in doing so, he was up against a lion of a legislature, with a veto-proof majority in both chambers.

Lawmakers on Wednesday failed to override Nixon's veto.

Dan Ponder, a political scientist at Drury University, says the governor had a decidedly uphill battle.

"He was able to put together a coalition of educators and chambers of commerce, businesses, to be able to make the case that, Ok, if this tax cut were to go into effect, it could potentially devastate education, and therefore, the workforce," Ponder says.

That "coalition" included about 150 groups, ranging from teachers to first responders.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry ran ads in Missouri criticizing Missouri's governor, and urging businesses to relocate to the Lone Star State.

Joe Henchman of the non-profit Tax Foundation says about 20 states are wrangling with tax issues.

"The Missouri bill was a bit flawed," Henchman says. "A lot of the proposals, especially the ones that have been successful, have been broader tax reforms that reduced rates, but also closed carve-outs."

Governor Nixon's unlikely victory may influence the fight over taxes in other states.

Copyright 2014 KSMU-FM. To see more, visit http://ksmu.org.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Missouri, the state's Republican-led House failed to muster enough votes yesterday to override their Democratic governor's veto of a sweeping tax cut.

From member station KSMU, Jennifer Davidson reports.

JENNIFER DAVIDSON, BYLINE: Governor Jay Nixon said he vetoed the tax cut because the $700 million price tag was unaffordable. But he knew in doing so, he was up against a lion of a legislature, with a veto-proof majority in both chambers.

Dan Ponder, a political scientist at Drury University, says the governor had a decidedly uphill battle.

DAN PONDER: But he was able to put together a coalition of educators and Chambers of Commerce - business - to be able to make the case that, OK, if this tax cut were to go into effect, it could potentially devastate education, and therefore, the workforce.

DAVIDSON: That coalition included about 150 groups, ranging from teachers to first responders.

Texas Governor Rick Perry ran ads in Missouri criticizing governor Nixon, and urging businesses to move there.

Joe Henchman of the non-profit Tax Foundation says about 20 states are wrangling with tax issues.

JOE HENCHMAN: The Missouri bill was a bit flawed. A lot of the proposals, especially the ones that have been successful, have been broader tax reforms that reduced rates, but also closed carve-outs.

DAVIDSON: Governor Nixon's unlikely victory may influence the fight over taxes in other states.

For NPR News, I'm Jennifer Davidson. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.