Jefferson City, Mo. Your taxes are expected to be a big issue this week in the Missouri Statehouse.
The 2018 Missouri Legislative Session really hits its stride this week, when Governor Eric Greitens (R-Missouri) gives his State of the State Address. That's where he lays out his priorities for lawmakers. We don't know exactly what he'll say, but we know he's going to be talking about some sort of tax reform.
Greitens already backed the Missouri Housing Development Commission, as they voted to stop issuing state low-income housing tax credits. Greitens says the program was inefficient. But backers say cutting those credits could hurt access to affordable housing. The state still is moving ahead with federal low-income housing tax credits.
That cut is likely just a taste of the tax reform that Governor Greitens has planned, and what he promised, when he talked to KY3's Mike Landis recently, "We want to lower taxes on Missouri families, and create a simpler, fairer tax system. And, we'll be rolling that out at the very beginning of the new year."
As to what exactly that means, he's been light on specifics so far. But, his fellow Republicans, who control a big majority in the Statehouse, and are spurred on by what they saw the U.S. Congress pass, are on board for some sort of tax cuts. "It's been a priority of this caucus and this majority for a long time to look at tax cuts and tax reform," said Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff). "I think to the extent that the federal bill continues to provide some momentum for those efforts, we'll be looking to pick that up on the state level."
But, as you might imagine, Democrats are not on board. Citing that cut to the low-income housing tax credits, among other things, they said, the people of Missouri just can't afford it right now. "My concern is really any hit to our budget is a challenge," said Minority Floor Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City). "When we couldn't find $35 million to protect some of Missouri's most-vulnerable last year, even if it's just $50 million, that's a cut we just simply can't afford."
Besides giving us more specifics on that tax plan, the Governor is also expected to talk about potential changes to ethics, health care, and your child's education.
The State of the State Address is Wednesday night at seven in Jefferson City.