Tax revenue shortfalls could mean more cuts for MU

Just as the University of Missouri System Board of Curators passed its budget for fiscal 2018, tax revenue shortfalls could set the stage for more cuts in higher education funding across Missouri.

Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, said on Wednesday that state revenue growth was below 2 percent instead of the projected 3 percent for fiscal year 2017. That means Missouri is facing a $150 million shortfall heading into fiscal year 2018, which begins Saturday.

Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, said the shortfalls have to do with special interest tax cuts. Corporate tax collections have fallen in Missouri, which Kendrick attributed to Senate Bill 19.

Gov. Eric Greitens also said in his fiscal year 2018 budget summary that “revenue is being drained by special interest tax credits,” but he also blamed the Affordable Care Act for creating “faster-than-projected growth in health care expenditures” for the state’s budget crunch.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time for MU, which has been forced to cut more than 400 positions and eliminate various programs in the midst of state cuts from fiscal year 2017. The UM System recently passed its budget for fiscal year 2018, which included 12 percent cuts, mostly across the board.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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