JC/DC Alert MO PTA Opposes SB 617

**This bill is up for a full Senate vote contact your Senator NOW****

After only 30 minutes of debate, yesterday the Missouri Senate gave preliminary approval for a tax bill that will give big cuts to the wealthy and corporations and leave our communities without the resources they need to prosper.

The Senate acted without an estimate of the bill’s fiscal impact. However, the Missouri Budget Project’s initial estimate is that the legislation will cost the state more than $500 million, and possibly as much as $800 million.

Missouri PTA opposes any measure that would take away funding for schools in Missouri. The loss of revenue generated from individual income tax is a large portion of funding for Missouri schools. Without quality schools it will be hard to attract new businesses and may even cause the loss of existing businesses, which hurts all of Missouri.

In the current fiscal year, the tax is budgeted to reduce $464 million for the general revenue budget. These cuts would come at a time when Missouri is already struggling to meet its budget needs due to previously enacted tax changes and would require additional and steep cuts to services including education.

  • The net effect of SB 617 would cut $464 million from state general revenue in 2019 while SB 611 would reduce state revenue by more than $1 billion. In context, $462 million is the equivalent of 50% of state general revenue funding for mental health. It is more than Missouri spends in general revenue on all early education and child care services combined.
  • In addition, SB 617 would eliminate the individual income tax over time, increasing its cost each year and eventually resulting in an annual cut of $6.6 billion.Individual income tax currently provides $6.6 billion to support the FY 2018 budget, or 36% of all state-source funding (not including federal funds). There would simply be no way for Missouri to compensate for the loss of revenue.
  • This bill would place Missouri on a fiscal path that would make Kansas’ recent experience with tax cuts look like a cake walk.
  • This bill would provide large tax cuts to wealthy Missourians, at the expense of everyone else.SB 617 would give Missourians with average incomes of $1.387 million a tax cut of $11,096 in 2019, while most working Missourians would see little impact or even tax increases. In fact, an analysis by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy found that 91% of the tax cut would flow to the wealthiest 20% of Missourians.
  • As in the Kansas experience, Missouri would have little alternative but to move toward regressive consumption taxes (sales tax), increasing the burden on working Missourians.

 

Schools are already struggling in part due to gaps in the budget created by the passage of SB 641 and SB 1025 in 2016. When Missouri is unable to fully fund its portion of schools every district and every child suffers. This can be felt most strongly in districts that are struggling to pay for the cost of education due to lowering property values and tax revenue. The corporate tax is vital to these schools to help to make the playing field level for all Missouri children no matter the school district.

There are a few districts in Missouri that will be better able to adjust to such a loss in income. However, what about the districts that cannot? There are several districts that already have cut music and extra-curricular activities out of their budget. They already have had to lay off support staff and may have to eventually lay off teachers. How are those schools going to be competitive with the schools that are better able to make up for decrease in funding? The further lack of funds that the loss of income tax would create a greater disparity between school districts.

Furthermore, with an educated population comes a qualified work force. This work force will help attract new businesses to Missouri. These new businesses in turn create new employment opportunities for Missourians. If we cannot fully invest in education we dissolve the very force that will propel Missouri onward. The children of Missouri deserve to have an equal chance no matter from which district they attend. We need to ensure they have career opportunities waiting for them to encourage them to stay in Missouri. Please tell your Senator to vote NO to SB 617.

 

Dear Senator,

Missouri PTA opposes any measure that would take away funding for schools in Missouri. The loss of revenue generated from individual income tax is a large portion of funding for Missouri schools. Without quality schools it will be hard to attract new businesses and may even cause the loss of existing businesses, which hurts all of Missouri.

In the current fiscal year, the tax is budgeted to reduce $464 million for the general revenue budget. These cuts would come at a time when Missouri is already struggling to meet its budget needs due to previously enacted tax changes, and would require additional and steep cuts to services including education.

Schools are already struggling in part due to gaps in the budget created by the passage of SB 641 and SB 1025 in 2016. When Missouri is unable to fully fund its portion of schools every district and every child suffers. This can be felt most strongly in districts that are struggling to pay for the cost of education due to lowering property values and tax revenue. The corporate tax is vital to these schools to help to make the playing field level for all Missouri children no matter the school district.

There are a few districts in Missouri that will be better able to adjust to such a loss in income. However, what about the districts that cannot? There are several districts that already have cut music and extra curricular activities out of their budget. They already have had to lay off support staff and may have to eventually lay off [i]teachers. How are those schools going to be competitive with the schools that are better able to make up for decrease in funding? We have seen several schools across Missouri lose accreditation and the fall out of students moving to other districts. The further lack of funds that the loss of income tax would create a greater disparity between school districts. This will severely impair how students can be accepted into colleges and how schools will be able to attract quality staff.

Furthermore, with an educated population comes a qualified work force. This work force will help attract new businesses to Missouri. These new businesses in turn create new employment opportunities for Missourians. If we cannot fully invest in education we dissolve the very force that will propel Missouri onward. The children of Missouri deserve to have an equal chance no matter from which district they attend. We need to ensure they have career opportunities waiting for them to encourage them to stay in Missouri. Please tell your Senator to vote NO to SB 617.

Sincerely,

 

Your Name

PTA Unit

 

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Carla Wiese

VP and Director of Legislation and Advocacy

carlaw@mopta.org


Dr. David Mitchell’s Op-Ed Article About the Benefits of Raise the Age

It’s time to ‘Raise the Age’ in Missouri. It’s a matter of dollars and sense

March 28, 2018 03:35 PM

Updated March 28, 2018 03:36 PM