Failed veto override applauded in Lee’s Summit

tporter@lsjournal.comSeptember 12, 2013 

  • $700 million Amount in state tax revenue that would have been cut had House Bill 253 been enacted by a failed override of Missouri Governor’s Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill.

The failed override of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a $700 million tax cut bill garnered an immediate reaction from representatives of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.

In a statement emailed to the Journal after Sept. 11’s failed override by the Missouri House of Representatives, R-7 Superintendent David McGehee reiterated the district’s stance all along: the tax cut heavily favored by Lee’s Summit Republican Senator Will Kraus would have had a profound affect on the district’s financing.

The House failed by 15 votes to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 253 during the General Assembly’s veto session in Jefferson City. Final vote in the House of Representatives was 94 to 67 in favor of the override, which failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed. Due to the outcome in the House, the override attempt did not advance to the Senate. 

“We are pleased to see the final outcome on this vote and have been troubled for some time about how the dramatic losses of revenue would impact our schools in Lee’s Summit R-7 and across the state,” McGehee said in the statement.

The failure of the override means the bill will not be brought up again during 2013, but Kraus said come 2014, tax cut policy would be back on the table.

“I knew that we were not likely to do it,” the Republican senator said via telephone Sept. 11, just minutes after the failed veto override attempt. “I’m excited that we’ve actually got the discussion going about tax policy and how it affects our economic development and potential loss of jobs.

“I’m moving forward next year with legislation that’s going to continue to address tax policy. Hopefully, we’ll have some honest discussions. The Governor’s office has indicated that he is open to discussions on how we can move forward on tax policy for our state.”

In July, the R-7 Board of Education approved a resolution urging legislators to sustain the governor’s veto. The bill was initially promoted as a way for Missouri to compete with tax cuts in Kansas. In addition, Missouri already has one of the lowest state tax burdens in the nation. 

“We are encouraging education supporters to be diligent in the future as it appears likely that similar legislation will be introduced during the spring 2014 General Assembly session,” McGehee said. “We will continue to communicate with the legislators who represent our community in an effort to convince them to protect our schools and school funding and to steer clear of legislation that places an increased burden on the middle class.”

In opposition of the tax cut, McGehee said it was important to remember that Missouri is currently underfunding its elementary and secondary education by $600 million annually. He added the R-7 district has cost contained almost $90 million since the 2008-09 school year, making tax cut legislation “especially concerning.”

According to the district, if the General Assembly had been successful in a veto override of House Bill 253, Missouri would have lost up to $1.2 billion, according to a recent ruling by the state’s attorney general, with the district standing to lose approximately $5 million annually and up to $8.5 million annually with the combination of the veto override and the pending passage of the national Fair Market Place Act.

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