Missouri House passes Senate plan for $500 million tax credit | Missouri

(The Center Square) — Lawmakers moved a step closer to returning hundreds of millions of dollars in excess taxes to Missouri citizens on Friday.

A Senate amendment providing $500 million in tax credits was added early Friday to House Bill 2090, originally intended to allow the payment of salaries of state employees in bi-weekly installments. It went 104-30.

Those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000 for individuals and less than $300,000 for married couples will be eligible for the tax credit in the 2021 tax year. credit will be the lesser of the income tax owing, or $500 in the case of individuals or $1,000 for married couples.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dave Griffith, R-Jefferson City, said during floor debate that he didn’t hear about the amendment or the House vote plan until 9:30 a.m.

A similar bill with $1 billion in tax credits was part of an appropriations bill passed by the House in April. Budget Chairman Cody Smith, R-Carthage, told the House he preferred to keep the larger amount and not limit it based on income.

“I won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Smith said. “These are real taxes that go to real taxpayers. It is not a redistribution of wealth.

As they did during the tax credit debate in the appropriations bill, Democrats have advocated giving relief to those who do not pay income tax but pay a high percentage of their sales tax revenues.

“Just because you’re not paying income tax doesn’t mean you’re not contributing to the treasury,” said Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis. “Your tax dollars also go to GR (general revenue). Sales tax goes to GR. higher percentage of their hard-earned money – each year in taxes than those at the top of the ladder…it’s just a lie.”

Rep. Barbara Phifer, D-St. Louis, recalled that her family’s state income taxes were reduced by deductions for dependents while she was raising five children. However, she said the amount of sales tax she pays on food, clothing and other necessities is significant.

“What we’re doing really discriminates against young families,” Phifer said. “I feel sad about this. We could have done it differently. »

Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, said state income tax policy allows low-wage earners to keep more of their wages.

“What we need to remember is that non-taxpayers have already benefited from the Missouri State’s charitable ruling by determining that they are not earning enough money for the state to takes money from their salary,” Richey said. “So the state has already taken a stand for those who don’t earn enough money to support many of their own needs.”

The bill also contained a Senate amendment prohibiting any mandate for state employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment, except for employees of hospitals and long-term care. State.