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Budget expert says tax cuts would threaten education funding

Missouri should not race Kansas to the bottom by adopting additional state tax cuts, according to former state budget director and current governmental relations consultant Jim Moody. He presented his perspective on state tax policy at the 2013 MSBA Legislative Forum in Jefferson City on February 19. Moody said it would be a serious mistake to try to compete with Kansas by cutting state income taxes in an effort to boost economic growth and create jobs. “If everybody adopts the same dumb tax policy, at the end of the day, how many jobs have you created? Probably not very many. All you’ve done is cut taxes while the foundation formula for schools remains severely underfunded,” he said. Moody said while state revenue collections are improving slightly, the state is still below revenue collected in fiscal year 2008. He said Missouri has implemented a number of tax cuts in the past 15 years and has little job growth to show for it. He said the state continues to lose revenue by not collecting taxes on Internet sales. Moody also said there is no way increasing the state sales tax would offset the revenue lost by eliminating the state income tax as some proposed legislation would do. Nearly 200 school board members and administrators attended the MSBA Legislative Forum this year. A panel of legislative leaders presented their perspectives on pending legislation during a panel discussion at the event. MSBA’s governmental relations staff also briefed members on issues before the General Assembly. Participants had the opportunity to visit their local legislators at the Capitol during the afternoon as well as visit MSBA’s Member Relations Center, located just a block and a half from the Capitol.