Thursday, September 20, 2012

Republicans to Propose Tax Cut Next Session?

Looking ahead to next session, one major proposal likely to emerge will be a tax cut, perhaps in the individual income rate.


(Camera cuts to Missouri Budget Project opening office window and releasing primal scream.)


This impulse is being driven by a fear that the western border of Missouri is increasingly at a tax disadvantage with Kansas.


In January a new tax policy will go into effect in Kansas.  According to a summary analysis by Allen, Gibbs & Houlik L.C. (read it here) “The most significant is that business income (non-wage) from LLCs, partnerships, S corps and sole proprietorships is not subject to state income tax.”  One can see how this would provide an inducement for small business owners to consider hopping across the border – all other things equal.


Furthermore the top income tax rate (earners over $30K) will go from 6.45% to 4.9%. Missouri’s income tax rate is 6% for anyone earning over $9,000.


This is not without controversy in Kansas as opponents project budget shortfalls as a result.



It’s hard not to imagine the Hand of Rex behind any move to reduce Missouri’s income tax.  That his posse would be using the Kansas changes to induce fear as a motivator is a natural assumption.


If something on this order is floated, it will critical to gauge the reaction of the Kansas City delegation, particularly Senate Democrats.  Are they getting heat from business owners about the need to counteract the Kansas move?  Is it a strong enough push that they would abandon a near-consensus Democratic feeling that Missouri’s budget woes are due to a lack of revenue, not over-spending?



St. Louis Money Returns to HRCC

After the disastrous special session two summers ago, business leaders – rallied by a St. Louis Business Journal op/ed by Mississippi Limestone CEO Mike DeCola – started to withhold their financial support to the Republican legislative majorities.


They are coming home– just in time for the elections.


According to one top Republican, they’ve all given now at some level. The most significant signal, though, that all is forgiven was last week’s $50K contribution from Doug Albrecht.


The reason behind the rapprochement appears to be two-fold.  First, the low-drama business-like attitude and execution of the “arch tax” legislation reminded St. Louis business leaders that adult behavior was possible inside the Building.


Unlike the Tea Party grandstanding, inter-chamber posturing, and hostage-taking hijinks that sabotaged the Aerotropolis special session, the movers behind the arch tax enabling legislation keep their eyes on the prize.


Second, they want to believe.  They want to believe that Sen. Jason Crowell was a poisoning influence, that pro tem Rob Mayer was weak and that the Tim Jones-Tom Dempsey combination will be different.



Nixon Goes Negative on Spence, St. Louis?

Jay Nixon’s team has started running a negative spot hitting his Republican opponent, Dave Spence, for his association with a bank which took TARP funds.


TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) is the unpopular government intervention which helped pull the financial system back from the brink of collapse a few years ago.


Throughout the ad, Nixon refers to Spence as a “St. Louis banker.”  St. Louisans are sensitive to use of the state’s largest city as a label or tag to rile up suspicion in outstate voters.  It’s the sort of tactic that makes for good campaigning I guess, but undermines the state’s ability to make meaningful compromises on its most vexing policy fronts.


St. Louis County Sen. Eric Schmitt’s regional pride antennae twitched at the commercial and he tweeted a similar sentiment. @Eric_Schmitt: “Just saw Nixon's first neg ad vs @spenceformo. Sad the Gov of our state is running vs #STL region. We need leadership for the whole state”



American Future Fund Runs Anti-Koster Ads

With what they are saying is a $250,000 buy against incumbent Chris Koster, American Future Fund has launched an television ad (I haven’t found contracts for the ad yet, but did see it on TV last night).


It reprises the “Koster the Imposter” tag that Dems tried to stick Koster with in the primary four years ago.


See the ad here.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Mark J Rhoads deleted Caesars Entertainment Operating Company Inc., Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development Inc., American Fair Credit Council c/o Multistate Associates Inc.



$5K+ Contributions

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $12,500 from Western Missouri and Kansas Laborers’ District Council PAC.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Advantage Capital Management Corporation.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Citizens for Diehl.

Central Bancompany-PAC - $10,000 from The Central Trust Bank.

Central Bancompany-PAC - $10,000 from Central Bancompany.

Missouri Health Care Association PAC - $40,000 from Missouri Health Care Association.

Spence for Governor - $1,100,000 from RGA Missouri PAC.

Enough Taxes Already - $83,692 from Xcaliber International LTD.

Komo for Missouri - $18,907 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Citizens to Elect John Wright - $7,500 from Richard McGuire.

Missourians for Ed Martin - $12,500 from Charles Willey.

Missourians for Ed Martin - $25,000 from David Farr.

MO Democratic State Committee - $25,000 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.

Slay for Mayor - $10,000 from World Wide Technology Holding Co Inc.

Friends for Fallert - $82,582 from MO Democratic State Party.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri - $7,250 from Central Bancompany PAC.

Slay for Mayor - $8,000 from Emerson Electric Company.
Dempsey for Senate - $10,000 from Right Choice Managed Care Inc.


Cash Commentary

Note the huge $1.1 million contribution from the Republican Governors Association to the Dave Spence campaign.


And St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is stepping up his fundraising ahead of his spring re-election.  This should pick up more steam after the competition for cash from the November election dies down.




Happy birthdays tomorrow to Former Rep. Roman LeBlanc (41), and Saturday to David Willis.