Last week was a rough one for tax justice advocates in many states, but especially those working in Missouri. The House Committee on Tax Reform heard not one, but two bills attempting to eliminate to state's corporate income, individual income, and estate taxes. The revenue loss from eliminating these taxes would supposedly be raised from eliminating all sales tax deductions and exemptions. These bills were based largely on the propaganda of Americans for Fair Taxation, a group which supports the elimination of all taxes based on income.
The group's slogan for promoting these types of tax changes is "Freedom. Fairness. Savings," words which have nothing to do with the policies they promote. Relying more on consumption taxes rather than income taxes only ensures that poor families pay more in taxes as a share of their income than do wealthy families. The only people who save under these "fair tax" proposals are wealthy folks. The Missouri Budget Project was one of many groups who testified against these unfair and expensive proposals, arguing "that these bills undermine the principles of fairness and equity that should be the basis of our tax system."