Nixon visits Fulton, lobbies to retain veto

Governor threatens to cut funds to rebuild Biggs Forensic Center

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon answers questions Tuesday about his decision to withhold the $11 million appropration for planning money for a new Biggs Forensic Center at Fulton State Hospital.

Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday toured the Biggs Forensic Center in Fulton and declared he was freezing $11 million in planning money to rebuild the center. The governor said he also would block construction of a new Fulton State Hospital if the Missouri General Assembly overrides his veto of state tax cut legislation.

The legislation would cut individual and corporate tax rates and create a new deduction for some business income.

Nixon contended the state tax cut legislation, when combined with the proposed federal Marketplace Fairness Act that may pass Congress, would deprive the state of $800 million in tax revenue each year. He said approval of the federal law would mean that Missouri taxpayers could seek a tax refund for three previous years, ballooning the revenue cost to the state.

The governor’s press conference quickly developed into charges and counter charges of the amount of the state’s current tax surplus and whether the tax cut bill passed by the legislature would result in a loss of $800 million in tax revenue each year.

The governor’s figures on the cost of the tax legislation are disputed by state business groups. They include the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries, the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants, Missouri Grocers Association, Missouri Restaurant Association, and other business organizations.

The business coalition has created a website, growmissouri.com, that contends the state has a surplus now and that surplus would grow if a tax cut were approved. The business groups contend tax cuts in Kansas and Oklahoma have increased state tax revenue in those states through greater economic activity that is taxed.

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