Gov. Jay Nixon said a legal analysis of legislation passed by the Missouri House and Senate shows the bill would eliminate state income taxes for about 2.5 million Missourians and cost the state more than $4.8 billion annually — not $620 million as legislative staffers had projected.
Nixon, a Democrat, based his conclusion on a little-noticed sentence in the bill. If that provision is enacted, Nixon said, earners in the state’s top bracket — those making more than $9,000 — would owe no income taxes as early as 2022.
The Republican House speaker and Senate president said in a news conference that top earners would still pay taxes, though at a slightly reduced rate. They said Nixon is inventing arguments against the bill to shore up opposition from educators, a strategy that helped him sustain his veto of a tax cut last year.
Nixon traveled to Kansas City and Springfield to discuss the provision his administration contends is problematic.