Jefferson City - Missouri Democratic leaders on the Joint Committee on Tax Policy are asking Governor Eric Greitens how he plans to fill the $1 billion hole that the Congressional Republicans’ tax plan would blow in the state’s budget.
In a joint letter, Democratic officeholders who sit on the state’s Joint Committee on Tax Policy, including State Senator Schupp (D-Creve Coeur), State Senator Shalonn "Kiki" Curls (D-Kansas City), State Representative Michael Butler (D-St. Louis), and State Representative Tracy McCreery (D- Olivette), wrote to Greitens about the potential $1 billion hole in the state’s budget and whether the Congressional tax cuts will result in a tax hike for Missouri’s working families or further cuts to public schools, healthcare and other services that working families depend on.
Earlier this year, Greitens withheld $251 million from education, school transportation, healthcare, foster care, treatment facilities, and other services to address a shortfall in the state budget.
The proposed GOP tax plan would make that worse.
The text of the full letter is as follows:
As you know, President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress are moving quickly on a tax plan – a plan for which you have expressed support but will hurt hard-working Missourians.
This is concerning because here in Missouri you have already slashed healthcare for seniors and people with disabilities and eliminated vital resources for our public schools, among other painful cuts that are burdening working Missourians. And recent reports indicate that the effects of this tax plan that your colleagues in Washington are trying to push through will only make those problems with our state budget – and for working families – even worse.
Both versions of the tax plan – the U.S. House bill, and the version being considered by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee – could result in a $1 billion hole in state revenue.
As all of us know from recent experience, that kind of revenue loss would lead to Missouri’s working families facing devastating cuts to education, healthcare, and other services – or a hike in state taxes – or both. Missouri’s Republican House Budget Chairman Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick has recognized that this kind of hole in state revenue could lead to “draconian cuts.”
You have also already acknowledged the kinds of choices facing Missouri’s working families when the state’s budget sees a shortfall. Earlier this year, when you withheld $251 million from education, school transportation, healthcare, foster care, treatment facilities, and other services, you stated in the Kansas City Star: “We were sent here to make tough decisions... I will not raise your taxes.”
We write today to ask you how you would plan to fill that hole in the state budget if the tax plan being pursued by Republican leaders in Congress becomes law.
Can you guarantee that there will not be further cuts to public schools, healthcare, and other services that Missouri’s working families depend on?
Will you raise state taxes on those working families?
What input have you given your party’s leaders in Congress, the White House, and Missouri’s Congressional delegation, regarding the impact on our state if this tax plan is passed?
We need real tax reform that doesn’t take money away from working Missourians’ healthcare, public schools, roads, and public safety. But this tax plan will mean that Missouri’s working families end up paying more for school and healthcare than the savings they may get on their tax bill.
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter, and we look forward to your response.