Your Opinion: Mixed signals on taxes

Dear Editor:

An article in the Jan. 5 News Tribune discussed Sen. Kehoe’s and Rep. Barnes’ tax and legislative priorities. I agree with the idea that tax credits need to be addressed. Too many credits go to special interests. However, I question whether Missouri can afford the proposed reduction of business and individual income taxes and still adequately fund important programs.

Based on this article, it seems Sen. Kehoe is sending mixed signals to the taxpayers. He wants to lower individual and business income taxes but increase the sales tax and use the money to build new roads. He also seems to continue to favor giving Ameren a chance to charge us all more money to recover infrastructure improvement costs for work in progress.

We taxpayers already passed a law saying we didn’t want utilities to recover costs until a project is completed. I don’t know about everyone else, but, my kilowatt cost has increased 39 percent in the last five years. Why should we pay more for projects that may never be completed? Perhaps we need to stick by our current law that says the utility must complete the project before we have to pay.

The proposed business and individual income tax cuts will cause reduced funding for education and other important programs. Besides that, the business tax cuts will benefit big business more than little businesses and the individual income tax cut will provide more benefit to higher income taxpayers. The little guy gets little benefit.

The sales tax for transportation also costs the smaller income person more proportionately. Sen. Kehoe seems to forget he was integrally involved in convincing taxpayers to approve bonds to fix our roads. We agreed to this “spend now on road improvements and pay later approach.”

Everyone knew we would not be able to do new construction for a while. If we need money for transportation we should vote on a user-based tax and not a sales tax.

Sen. Kehoe’s conflicting tax proposals would reduce income tax but raise sales tax and help Ameren make more money. These proposals favor big business and Ameren specifically, at the expense of the majority of us. It seems clear who Sen. Kehoe represents.

Sen. Kehoe, please reconsider your confusing stance on these issues and don’t forget who elected you.

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