Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nixon Vetoes Tax Cut and Exemption Bills

Yesterday Governor Jay Nixon followed through on his promise to veto the grab bag of bills passed on the final day of session which involved various exemptions and redefinitions of taxes.  Nixon has been adamant that they would “blow a hole” in the budget.  See Post-Dispatch coverage here.

He had previously targeted eight bills.  Yesterday he added two more to the bundle… HB 1455 and SB 829 which shift the burden of proof in tax cases.

See Nixon’s statement – and veto letters – here.

Dunn: J’Accuse!

Chris Dunn, chief of staff to Sen. Rob Schaaf, took to twitter yesterday to level an interesting charge.

The Tweets

Businesses are telling me DOR is sitting on their monthly sales tax checks sent to state. Why is DOR not cashing checks like usual? (1/2)  Is DOR not cashing sales tax checks to help the Gov's position on vetoed bills and his upcoming budget withholds? I think so... (2/2) #MoLeg

Dunn’s suggestion is that the Department of Revenue is engaging in a “slowdown” of booking sales tax receipts, by holding business’ checks uncashed.  In this way, the governor’s staff could be manipulating the state tax receipt numbers ahead of the summer’s veto session that would make the state’s budget look more fragile than it otherwise is.

Sales tax receipts are the second largest contributor (behind individual income tax receipts) to state revenues.

With the governor facing a stronger adversary in the House – Republicans will likely have two additional votes coming into their caucus as a result of the special elections the governor called – he needs to employ every angle to sustain his vetoes in September.

Transportation Tax Bits

A Look Back

The last time a transportation sales tax was on the ballot it was crushed, taking only got 27.5% of the vote.  The year was 2002 and it was “Prop B” on the ballot.  There was organized opposition, “No on B.”  And their spokesperson, like this time, was a former Post-Dispatch reporter.  Back then it was Fred Lindecke.  Read a Marc Powers article on the issue just a few weeks out here.

It is dangerous to find what appear to be analogs in history and then extrapolate them to predict the future.  There are important differences.  For starters, there’s no gas tax hike involved this time.  Then, a relatively unpopular governor was supporting it; now a relatively popular governor is opposing it.

However proponents must find some caution in the past.  Especially the fact that the No on B folks started their campaign committee late (June 24); only raised about $13K and still won easily.

Reader: MBTS Has Solutions, But First Things First

“I was at the founding table for Missourians for Better Transportation Solutions, and yes, we do have multiple better solutions. However, we have only a few weeks to build the campaign to defeat this at the polls – if it gets that far. The time to build consensus around one particular solution is later, not now…”

More House 18 Talk

It’s said that Kevin Garner also received the endorsement of the Firefighters.  That helps in terms of votes but also boots on the ground.  Garner is reportedly already on his second pass through the doors.

And I wrote yesterday that Jay Swearingen found himself without AFL-CIO endorsement for his commissioner run.  The backstory, according to one source, is that a labor leader who recruited Garner was upset that Swearingen endorsed his opponent, Lauren Arthur, before Garner got in the race.  Individual unions, such as the UAW, are likely to support Swearingen anyway, who has a perfect labor voting record.  And “what happens in that state rep primary and the GOP presiding commissioner primary may change some of those dynamics as well…”



Gate Way Group’s David Jackson was named a “30 under 30” in St. Louis by the St. Louis Business Journal.

The Creve Coeur Township Democratic Club endorsed Charlie Dooley for County Executive.

It’s game time for Congresswoman Ann Wagner.  With Eric Cantor’s loss there’ll be some leadership maneuvering.  Politico reports on the scrum; read it here.  She’d played the fundraising game well, and moved herself to the top of her freshman class.  Now can she find a way to use this turmoil to her advantage and keep her ascent going?

Former teacher, full-time blogger, Randy Turner reports that David Humphreys is “spearheading” an effort to have a state audit done of the Joplin School District.  See it here.

eMailbag: Junkie Talk

Describing the Public Service Commission public meetings… “Like Pfenny’s without the alcohol…”

Fundraising Calendar

Today’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Reps. Sue Allen & Tom Flanigan Reception – 730 West Main, Jefferson City (NOTE LOCATION CHANGE) – 5:30-7 p.m.

Sen. Doug Libla Golf – Ozark Ridge Golf Course, Poplar Bluff.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer Reception – Element STL, 1419 Carroll, St. Louis – 5:30-7 p.m.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

James R Moody, and Chris Moody added Kindred Healthcare Inc.

David C. Hale deleted Missouri Hospital Association, and Healthcare Services Group.

$5K+ Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. - $20,000 from Friends of Lincoln Hough.

Local 41 Political Action Fund - $10,567 from DRIVE Committee.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Dooley for St. Louis County - $10,000 from John Alberici.

Missourians for Koster - $12,500 from Robert Blitz.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Scott Charton (53).