Veto On Tax Cut Bill Stands, But Legislature Overrides Record 10 Bills

The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, photographed Sept. 11, 2013 | Photo by Michael Stacy
Legislators worked late into the night Wednesday in Jefferson City. | Photo by Michael Stacy

The Missouri House voted on the income tax cut bill, HB 253, during Wednesday’s veto session but fell short of the votes needed to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto. Although the Republican-led Legislature failed to override the Democratic governor on the tax cut bill, it did override a record 10 of 29 vetoes — including four on bills  identified by state business groups as legislation of high importance.

The Legislature overturned vetoes on HB 329, which will allow payday loan companies to raise fees on consumer loans; HB 339, which limits awards against insured drivers in certain accidents; HB 650, which will cap punitive damages against the Doe Run Co. at $2.5 million per lawsuit; and SB 9, which regulates foreign ownership of Missouri farms.

The potential hit to state revenues was the focus of much of the debate over the $700 million tax bill, which would have cut individual and corporate income taxes over 10 years. The bill attracted the lion’s share of attention in the run up to the veto session and was the subject of numerous speeches and advertising campaigns in that time, and debate over the bill lasted for close to two hours before a vote was called.

The override effort died when the bill received just 94 of the 109 votes it needed to move on to the Senate, and Nixon declared victory for the state of Missouri. “Today’s vote represents a defining moment for our state and a victory for all Missourians,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Republicans and business groups vowed to continue the push to lower the state’s tax rates.

“Our drive doesn’t end with today’s vote,” Dan Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in a statement. “If anything, we are even more committed to securing tax relief for Missouri’s workers and job creators to keep our state more competitive.”

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