Watch Parson's news conference.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Friday that he plans to call a special session to cut income taxes and extend agricultural tax credits.
The governor held a news conference Friday afternoon to talk about budget actions he took this week, including the veto of $500 million in federal COVID-19 stimulus funds meant for a means-tested tax rebate. That measure didn't go far enough, Parson said.
"We can do better. And today with our announcement of a special session we intend to do just that – do better," Parson said.
He said a date hasn't been set for the special session yet.
Parson proposed a cut to the overall income tax rate and making the rate the same for all taxpayers. He also proposed raising the standard deduction to $16,000 for individual filers.
The session will also include the extension of agricultural tax credits. The General Assembly extended those credits for two years in this year's session, but Parson wants them to be extended for at least six.
Parson said taxpayers see a two to three-fold return on investment in these tax credit programs.
Parson also signed eight bills and vetoed four on Friday. Two of those bills were related to the one-time tax rebate that would have been funded by federal stimulus money and a bill extending the agriculture tax credits. Parson said those bills would be rendered moot by the special session.
The Missouri Budget Project said it's not time for more across-the-board income tax cuts but for legislation to fix Missouri's "regressive" tax structure.
"While currently Missouri’s budget is in good shape (largely because of federal efforts to help state economies weather the pandemic), our state has repeatedly cut its support for education, public health, and many other state services over the last decades, and already has tax cuts scheduled to go into effect," the organization said in a news release.
Several of the bills Parson signed Friday focused on education and workforce development, a priority Parson has been outspoken about this year.
Senate Bill 672 extends the Fast Track workforce program and creates other programs that help rural economic development and incentivize economic development.
"This program is heavily used by women, first-generation college students, and individuals seeking healthcare-related careers, and we are grateful to the General Assembly for recognizing the importance of maintaining this program," Parson said in a news release.
The other seven new laws are:
- House Bill 2400 - Modifies provisions related to business entities, including the Missouri One State Program
- Senate Bill 775 - Makes changes to judicial proceedings, including the Sexual Assualt Survivors' Bill of Rights
- Senate Bill 683 - Modifies provisions relating to child care and creates a prison nursery program
- Senate Bill 681 - Modifies provisions relating to education, including the Career Ladder Program
- House Bill 2485 - Enacts provisions relating to environmental regulation
- House Bill 1738 - Modifies the name of a current memorial highway designation to add the honoree's law enforcement rank
- House Bill 2627 - Designates the third full week of September as Sickle Cell Awareness Week and Historically Black College and University Week
The latest bill signings come a day after Parson signed the fiscal 2023 budget and issued line-item vetoes on budget items. Those vetoes included $500 million meant to pay for a tax rebate program. Parson said in his veto letter that the legislation as written lacked a mechanism to make the rebate payments.
Check back for updates to this developing story.