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Dugger Report 3.8.12

Earlier this week, mother nature provided us with a stark reminder of how in an instant one’s life can change.  So often, in the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to forget just how precious life is, and how truly blessed we are. As we continue to pray for and lend a helping hand to those whose lives have been impacted by the damage left behind; let us take pause and reflect on the many blessings we have to be thankful for.
As the House continues its legislative work it is important to keep two fundamental principles in mind: keeping taxes and other governmental burdens low and ensuring that government is representative and attentive to the needs and wishes of those who elect them.  This week, two key pieces of legislation which ensure that these principles are met passed the Missouri House.
Thursday, the Missouri Legislature finalized its disapproval of a recommendation for a tax increase on the top four grades of agricultural land released by the governor’s State Tax Commission.  Every two years, the commission is tasked with evaluating the value for each grade of agricultural and horticultural land based on its productivity.  Fortunately, the Legislature has the ability to oppose any suggestions made by the commission that might impose an unnecessary burden on some of our state’s greatest economic producers.
The House began the process with House Concurrent Resolution 8, introduced by Representative Casey Guernsey. HCR 8 was passed out of the House of Representatives last week.  This week, the Senate followed suite and truly agreed to and finally passed the resolution.
Farming is integral not only to the state economy as whole but it is the lifeblood of our rural culture as well. Annually, agriculture and its related industries account for one-third of all economic activity in the state. Protecting our farmers from higher taxes will help farmers get through these difficult times. Placing a heavier burden on one of the most vital sectors of Missouri’s economy is not the kind of answer we need.
Federalism creates a complicated web of government in America.  Sometimes the overlapping layers of federal, state, and local governments can seem overwhelming.  That is why it is important to make sure that at each level of government, your elected officials truly represent your best interests. This is especially true at the county level.
Common sense guidelines and requirements can ensure the integrity of your local elected officials.  That is why I am sponsoring House Bill HB 1106, which will require a county collector or collector-treasurer to reside in the county from which they were elected throughout their term of service. Also, it requires a candidate for the position to be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the country for at least one year prior to the date of filing, a registered voter and to have paid all state income, personal, real property taxes, and provide proof that they meet bonding requirements.
I am currently running an online legislative survey. This survey includes many of the key issues we are addressing during the current legislative session in Jefferson City and I would greatly appreciate your input on these important issues.
Simply click on the following link, SURVEY, enter your name and address, and fill out the survey. Thank you in advance for your time and input.
For more information about the bills mentioned above or about any others that have been introduced please visit the House of Representatives website, www.house.mo.gov. As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House of Representatives.

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