MOScout Daily Update: Muni Ballot Bond Issues and Tax Hikes - Justice for Senate 25 - Christian County "Disinvites" Blunt and more...

1 Big Trend: The Slow March of Local Taxes

For many fiscal conservatives the single best metric to determine whether they’re “winning” is the size of government, measured in dollars – dollars collected or dollars spent.  (Those two expressions are equal at the state and local level, but obviously the federal government regularly spends more than it collects).

Conservatives state legislators ignore the trillion-dollar Trump deficits and instead focus their energy against any new state taxes. They’ve been largely successful.  However the local level seems to bedevil them.  Earlier this session there was a filibuster organized around this issue as Sen. Andrew Koenig bewailed the slow march of local taxes.  He sought to create a ceiling for how high sales taxes could climb.

A quick glance at the upcoming April municipal elections shows that this fear is not unfounded. The usual beneficiaries of these tax and bond issues are schools and first responders – groups that provide real services, are popular with citizens, and have a seemingly insatiable appetite for bigger budgets.  Here’s a sampling….

·         Adair County Fire Protection District – 30-cent levy.

·         Boonville School District – 49-cent levy.

·         Canton School District - $2.5 million bond issue.

·         Cape Girardeau Schools - $8 million bond issue.

·         Carl Junction – property tax for library.

·         Clayton School District – 56-cent levy.

·         Dallas County School District – 46-cent levy.

·         Desloge City – sales tax increase for public safety.

·         Fox School District - $70 million bond issue.

·         Gladstone City – sales tax increase for police and firefighters.

·         Hillsboro School District – levy rollback waiver.

·         Kansas City – sales tax for early childhood.

·         Lincoln County School District - $24 million bond issue.

·         Lindbergh School District - $105 million bond issue.

·         Logan-Rogersville School District – 49-cent levy.

·         Marthasville Fire Protection District - $1.7 million bond issue.

·         Milan School District – 35-cent levy.

·         Pacific, MO – ½ cent sales tax for parks.

·         Palmyra School District - $3 million bond issue.

·         Parkville City – sales tax for parks.

·         Potosi School District - $5 million bond issue.

·         Raytown Fire Protection District – levy and bond issue.

·         Raytown School District - $53 million bond issue.

·         Republican, MO – sales tax increase for public safety and other projects.

·         St. Joseph School District – 61-cent levy.

·         Washington, MO – property tax for library.

·         Webster Groves School District - $22 million bond issue.

·         Webster Groves - $5 million bond issue for firehouse.


Budget Fears: Next Recession

Worried about the budget with state revenues still lethargic amid 3% unemployment?  Imagine what revenues will be like if we get a recession…. Yikers!  Everything feels hunky-dory to me, but Axios Markets has been ringing the warning bells.

·         From March 13: Economic models show the "largest one-month jump in recession risk in 30 years" for the U.S., and a 73% probability of a contraction in 2019, economists at UBS say. That's based on recent data, most notably the U.S. fourth quarter GDP report.

·         From March 14: Every key indicator of confidence fell among builders for the first time in 2 years, according to a joint survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and construction firm USG… Construction is a barometer of the economy, and "when it starts to falter, it's a sign that there's cooling ahead," the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and USG note in the release…

·         From March 18: U.S. PMI [Purchasing Managers Index] fell to its lowest in 18 months. Manufacturing output fell for the second consecutive month in February, the first back-to-back decline since 2017…


Justice Announces for Senate 25

Post-Dispatch reports that Eddy Justice has announced for the Senate 25 seat.  See it here.  From his press release: Butler County Republican Chair and ardent Trump supporter Eddy Justice has announced his candidacy for State Senate District 25, comprised of Mississippi, New

Madrid, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Stoddard, Butler, Carter, and Shannon Counties. He seeks to replace incumbent Senator Doug Libla, who is term-limited and cannot run again.

“I will support President Trump’s Agenda to Make America Great Again here in Southeast

Missouri,” said Justice, “I am running as a Conservative outsider because I want to be a voice for the people in Jefferson City, to stand up for their rights as Americans and to keep government off our backs.”

What It Means

The best bet is that Donald Trump will be the defining issue of 2020.  If you’re running in a Republican primary in rural Missouri, there’s no doubt how you want to position yourself relative to the president.

Meanwhile… Blunt Thumped for Crossing Trump

Kansas City Star reports (see it here) that “U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has been disinvited from a local GOP gathering in Christian County, Missouri, next month amid a backlash over his vote to block President Donald Trump’s use of emergency powers to build a border wall…”

MOScouter: “The Christian County Republicans are hard core Ed Martin/pro-Trump supporters.”



·         In the lobbyists registrations (below), Chip Sheppard registered.  According to this News-Leader article, Sheppard is a “Springfield attorney [who] has been heavily involved in a campaign to legalize medical marijuana usage in Missouri…”

·         Post-Dispatch reports that Rep. Steve Roberts’ father has taken an ownership stake in The Evening Whirl.  See it here.


New Committees

Terry Brown formed a candidate committee (Brown's Brigade For State Representative) to run for House 142 as a Republican.


$5K+ Contributions

MBA River Heritage Region PAC - $7,601 from The Bank of Missouri.

Friends Of SJSD - $10,000 from Nodaway Valley Bank.


Lobbyists Registrations

Richard AuBuchon added Independent Colleges & Universities of Missouri.

Andy Blunt added Accenture LLP.

Virginia Koenig Scattergood added Northrop Grumman.

Chip Sheppard added Joseph D. "Chip" Sheppard, III.



Happy birthday to Kim Becking.