Legislature prepares for Special Session

By State Rep. Bruce Sassmann, Missouri’s 62nd District
Posted 8/3/22

I’ve been asked to meet with Governor Parson and a small group of legislators in early August to discuss our legislative agenda prior to a Special Session.

The special session will likely …

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Legislature prepares for Special Session

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I’ve been asked to meet with Governor Parson and a small group of legislators in early August to discuss our legislative agenda prior to a Special Session.

The special session will likely coincide with the annual September Veto Session.      

Gov. Mike Parson has announced he plans to implement a tax cut, provide tax relief for Missourians, and restructure the state’s income tax brackets.

Parson previously vetoed a $500 million one-time economic recovery tax credit that was approved by the General Assembly during the 2022 legislative session. In vetoing the bill, the governor said he prefers a permanent tax cut and that he will call a special session so the legislature can approve one.

The chairman of the House Budget Committee, who sponsored the one-time tax credit, said he also prefers a permanent cut to help Missourians facing higher prices and inflation. He said he recently met with Parson to discuss the details of the governor’s proposed tax cut.

“We are busy now collaborating with the senate and the governor himself to try to find a starting point and then from that point the legislature will take over and will hopefully put forth a good product, at the end of the day, for the governor to sign,” said the chairman.  “It’s important that we try to keep this simple and try to make it as impactful to as many Missourians as possible. I think the income tax is the best way to do that, and trying to simplify the tax code in the process I think is also a worthy goal.”

The chairman of the House Budget Committee noted that the state’s brackets are outdated and should be revised, if not eliminated, and doing so would help all income earners.

He said, “Our highest tax bracket in Missouri is for anyone that makes over $9,000 annually.  At one time that was a considerable amount of money, but now most folks who work at all generally make more than $9,000 per year.”

He said they would be helping “lower income folks by addressing that top line number” and added, “I think we can take a look at some of the tax brackets on the lower end and see if we can reconfigure those or eliminate those entirely so that folks on the lower end of the income spectrum won’t pay taxes up to a certain amount. That would provide relief for those lower income folks.”

Both the chairman of the House Budget Committee and the governor agree that Missouri’s healthy economy and revenue growth will allow the state to afford a tax cut.

The chairman said, “I would guess that we may have a general revenue surplus in excess of $2 billion by the time we come back to the next legislative session and that is just unprecedented.”

He added, “We’ve got federal money set aside for Medicaid, we’ve got general revenue dollars sitting in the state’s treasury for all purposes, and I think there’s never been a better time to cut taxes and still be able to protect the priorities that we have in the budget.”

The chairman said while the state is enjoying increased revenues and never-before-seen surpluses, Missourians are dealing with high inflation, high gas prices, and other factors that are causing many to struggle. He said this is the right time for the legislature to do something to help.

He said, “Rather than issue stimulus checks, which is talked about in Washington from time-to-time, certainly we’ve seen that, I believe the best way to combat things like inflation is let Missourians keep more of their own money.”

The governor has said he is also planning to have the legislature consider six-year extensions to tax credits under the Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority. He vetoed a bill that would have extended them by two years.

I am honored to have been asked to participate in the conversations with the Governor about his agenda and historic tax reform.

Dates for a special session have not been set. 

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