Missouri Governor Blocks New Tax Rebate Checks – Missouri residents could lose out on a proposed tax rebate plan designed to lessen the impact of the rising cost of food, gas, and services after Governor Mike Parsons vetoed the legislation on Friday.
Governor Parson, a Republican, vetoed a total of four spending bills, including a tax rebate plan that was supported overwhelmingly by state legislators on both sides of the aisle.
In his veto letter explaining the legal reasoning for his decision to block the legislation, Governor Parson claimed that there would be no practical benefit to low-income or high-income Missouri residents who pay the most in state income taxes.
“That is, those who pay the most in state income taxes would have been excluded from receiving the benefit of the credit,” the governor wrote, adding that the proposal also does little to “assist the State’s lowest-income individuals and families, including those on fixed incomes such as disabled individuals, retirees, and social security recipients.”
The governor’s decision was supported by ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, Rep. Peter Meredith, who said that the proposal was “stupid and bad policy.”
Among his other vetoes, the governor blocked an $83 million provision for the Missouri State Highway Patrol academy building, citing the extraordinarily large cost of the project. He also vetoed $144 million in various other appropriations.
What Did Legislators Have Planned?
On Friday, the largest budget in the history of the state of Missouri was passed with ease in the state House and Senate. A total of $49 billion was in the line, with the new budget increasing spending for school transportation, providing financial assistance to universities that would pay for more scholarships, and even setting aside $1 billion to increase payments to personal and medical care providers.
Missouri residents were also allocated a total of $500 million in tax rebates.
While state legislators were unhappy with how quickly the appropriation bills were produced and then voted upon, legislators seemed reasonably happy with the results of the vote.
State Rep. Doug Richet, a Republican, said that the process was unsatisfying but that he was happy with the results.
“Is it something that is going to put Missouri in a very good place for the next 40 to 50 years with some of these transformative projects? Yes,” told the floor.
Individual residents would have been given stimulus checks worth up to $500, with married couples filing their taxes together receiving checks of $1,000. All Missouri residents earning less than $150,000 per year individually and $300,000 married would have received the checks in the coming months.
If both houses of the state legislature hold an extra session to vote on the legislation again, the governor’s veto can be undone with a two-thirds majority.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.