Your Opinion: Barnes’ disappointing economic development plan
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The ever energetic Jay Barnes is putting forward his ideas on Missouri economic development. He can think independently of his party on guns and states’ rights. On health care he actually put forward a plan while other Republicans seemed to think a health care plan was simply voting against Obamacare. Friends in the health care field say he is trying to make a difference.
Yet, I am disappointed in Barnes’ economic development plans. It is tax cuts for the wealthy as always. Every economic problem for Republicans can be cured with tax cuts for our betters. The new economic miracle this year he says is Tennessee. Kansas is old news. Barnes reports some glowing results in Tennessee but not the source of his data. He says over the last 17 years Tennessee has eaten our lunch. According to Barnes Tennessee is a champion because they have no state income tax.
Look up the Bureau of Labor statistics and you will not find confirmation. Median family income for citizens in Tennessee is 4.5 percent below Missouri (Tenn. $39,320 versus Mo. $41,170). Kansas is between Tennessee and Missouri. Some miracle. Missouri rocks in this group.
Barnes now champions Republican House Bill 1253 which lowers the standard 6 percent Missouri tax rate to 3 percent on “pass-through” income. Do you even know what that means? If you have business income organized under a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), the corporation is not taxed. The income is passed through to partners in the LLC. A pest control company with a staff of five or Koch Industries with 80,000 employees can be a small business in the eyes of the IRS. It is the business that decides how to be classified.
As a member of an LLC, I would benefit from this. Still, this is just flimflammery not economic development.
Missouri is already a low tax state. States that have no income tax have higher property taxes and sales taxes. Roads have to be built. Schools have to be supported. Public safety has to be paid for. America’s infrastructure is mostly Eisenhower era.
Our political system is a massive failure. Politicians have less public confidence than any time in memory. We elect them and they fail us. The moneyed class soars.
A public forum is being held at the Lincoln Page Library on at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Both sides will be fairly represented. You should go.