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Missouri tax credit legislation approved by House, heads to State Senate

Missouri House/Jefferson City, Mo.
Missouri House/Jefferson City, Mo.(ky3)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:27 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri’s Republican-led House passed a bill Thursday that would give rebates of up to $1,000 for state income taxes owed this year.

Lawmakers voted 103-44 to send the nonrefundable tax credit legislation to the GOP-led Senate, where Republican Majority Leader Caleb Rowden said it faces an uncertain path forward.

The House proposal would allow for rebates of up to $500 per individual or $1,000 for married couples.

In practice, if an individual owes $1 in state income taxes when they file, they would be repaid $1. If an individual owes $600 in income taxes, they would be reimbursed $500.

Individuals and couples who didn’t owe anything wouldn’t qualify. The legislation would set aside $1 billion in surplus revenue to pay for the tax rebates. The bill is heading to the Senate.

The tax break proposal is due to the budget surplus the State Legislature is facing. It has sparked a lot of controversy over who should actually get the money.

Lawmakers say the legislation led to loud conversations on the House Floor on Wednesday evening. Missouri State Sen. Eric Burlison (R-Greene County) is a big fan of it. He says anything that can get Missourians that money back that they paid should be a good thing.

“I love it, I think it’s a great idea,” said Sen. Burlison. ”They can’t even find enough places to spend the money. We should be sending this back to the people that paid these taxes to us, rather than waste their money.”

Democratic Missouri State Rep., Peter Merideth said while he supports giving Missourians back their money, he wants it to go to the people who truly need it. He even said it’s not about economic recovery.

“If it were, it would go to the people that need help recovering. That’s not what this is,“ said Representative Merideth.

So who would actually get this money? The Missouri Budget Project is projecting it would go to about a third of Missourians.

Sen. John Rizzo says while they will entertain the idea, he agrees it should go to those who need it the most.

”The non-refundable portion of it probably, I would say, misses the target. If you’re going to do something like that, you should probably put the most vulnerable in regards of people that need the money the most first,“ said Sen. Rizzo.

Sen. Burlison said the money needs to go towards Missourians who pay taxes.

”If it’s giving money back to people that never paid taxes, then I would not support that. I think that I’m not in the business of wanting to just redistribute wealth,” said Sen. Burlison.

Similar legislation was filed in the senate just a few months ago. It was done by Missouri State Sen. Lincoln Hough. That has not made it on the Senate floor yet.

The Senate is expected to take up budget on Tuesday. By law, a budget needs to be on Governor Parson’s desk by May 6 at 6 p.m..

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