Rep. Curtman Issues Statement on SB 509 Veto Override

JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri General Assembly, in back-to-back legislative days, voted to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 509.
The governor had contended that SB 509, a tax reform bill, would be devastating to public education funding.
In marking the historic override, which will now adjust Missouri’s top tax rate for the first time in over 90 years, Rep. Paul Curtman, whose tax bracket reform proposal was included in SB 509, issued the following statement:
“In 1931, you were making pretty good money if you earned $9,000 a year.  That’s when Missouri’s tax table was last modified and now those living in poverty are taxed at 6 percent like everyone else making over $9,000.
In effect, Missouri has been silently increasing taxes on our poorest citizens because our tax brackets do not adjust as necessary for inflation.
For the last 90 years Missouri’s poorest have been asked to pony up more money each year to pay for the growth of Missouri’s social service system, public education, and other state spending – much of which was then sent right back to them after the government took its administrative cut.
“Last year, I sponsored a measure to completely adjust our brackets retroactively from 1931 – the results were alarming. The fiscal study indicated that Missouri is collecting over $2 billion dollars in excess revenue due to the state taxing the inflated value of our earned income!  The failure of previous legislatures to account for inflation and the harmful taxing effect we currently are experiencing had never been so clear.
“This year, I filed a proposal that will adjust our brackets for inflation from this point forward. This smart tax reform was given strong bi-partisan support, passing the House of Representatives on a vote of 146 to 4.  It had such strong merit it was also included in SB 509, the broad-based tax reform proposal that is the centerpiece of the Republican agenda in 2014.
“Considering the safeguards that we cemented in our tax reform bill, such as revenue growth guarantees and modest incremental reductions, as well as my proposal to adjust the tax brackets for inflation which will immediately begin protecting Missouri’s poorest earners, this tax reform bill is a more than fiscally-responsible, fair and rooted in common sense.”