When someone said to Speaker of the Missouri House Ron Richard, “So you think people know best how to spend money and not the government?” Richard replied: “That’s a novel idea and we believe it in Missouri.”
From The Columia Tribune
With just two weeks to adopt a state budget, House leaders have drafted a major change in the use of federal stimulus funds, proposing a $1 billion cut in individual state income taxes instead of financing construction projects.
“Our intention is over a two-year period to reduce Missouri’s income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent,” said House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-St. Louis County. “At the end of the day, the Missouri taxpayer would be able to put more money in their pockets and decide how it should be spent to stimulate the economy.”
Icet introduced a new appropriations bill in the House last night proposing to direct $500 million in each of the next two years to cover the cost of the income tax cut. The money would come from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The move rejects the work of the House Budget Committee, which on Monday had hammered together a spending plan that included $20 million in maintenance and repair funds for the University of Missouri, $20 million for a new State Historical Society of Missouri building in Columbia and $10 million for a plant science center in Mexico, Mo. None of those projects is funded in Icet’s new spending plan.
The original bill also would have funded millions of dollars in maintenance and construction projects on public college campuses that were originally to be financed with the sale of student loan assets. Nearly all of those projects have been scrapped under the new bill.