Last spring the Missouri Legislature approved House Bill 253 which provides for a new and unproven tax scheme for our state. Gov. Nixon vetoed this harmful bill but now the Legislature is considering whether to attempt an override of his veto. If the veto is overturned the measure will permanently cut money available for the education of our children, for repair of roads and bridges, and for public safety.
Should this bill become law, Missouri will lose more than $800 million a year in revenue. That will force cuts to funding for our schools and will lead to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, longer school bus routes and reduced access to the technology that our students need.
The bill will also result in a decline in our state investment in higher education. This will mean tuition increases, making college less affordable for many students and families.
With fewer well educated students, our economy will be weakened and less competitive since quality schools and skilled workers are essential to our long-term economic success. In short, the bill will downgrade our public education system and force those who can afford it to seek out and use higher priced private education.
Another pitfall in the bill will be the imposition of new taxes on prescription drugs and medical equipment. This will increase the costs of medical necessities for everyone, especially seniors who have more health issues and lesser incomes.
The tax cuts in the bill would do little to benefit the average family in Missouri, but the cuts do provide significant benefits for the wealthy while denying our children the resources they need to receive the education they deserve.
A family near the median income would get the equivalent of a burger a month while the wealthy would get the equivalent of a very nice big screen television.
Citizens should contact their state legislators and ask them to vote against any attempt to override the veto of HB253.