If state tax budget shortfalls and regressive tax structures were a popularity contest, Missouri would be considered one of the cool kids. Like most states, Missouri has both an enormous shortfall and a regressive tax structure to contend with. The discussions in Missouri about ways to solve the state's fiscal mess (as in many other states) have mostly focused on program cuts.
But this week advocates from the Tax Justice for a Healthy Missouri Coalition bucked the status quo. A hearing was held by the House Tax Reform Committee on a bill, supported by the coalition, that would broaden Missouri's tax brackets, add new top tax rates, eliminate the state's deduction for federal income taxes paid and introduce a refundable credit targeted toward low- and middle-income folks.
The bill would also raise over a billion dollars. For a cash-strapped state that hasn't seen its top bracket change since 1931, this bill offers a chance to modernize the income tax, increase revenue, and make the tax structure fairer overall. It's rare that one piece of legislation has the ability to do so much good. For ITEP's testimony on this important legislation, click here.