This week marked the halfway point in the 2018 legislation session. A total of 557 bills have been filed in the Missouri Senate and 1514 bills have been filed in the Missouri House of Representatives. While this might seem like far too many new laws it is important to remember most won’t be passed. The vetting process a bill needs to go through to reach the Governor’s desk is long and arduous. The week before spring break always brings a surge of action in the Missouri General Assembly as lawmakers work hard to move legislation forward through the legislative process.
One of the more interesting pieces of legislation we debated this week was tax reform. This week, the Missouri Senate debated Senate Bill 617, also known as the Missouri Economic Relief Act, which modifies several provisions relating to taxation. This legislation is designed to be revenue neutral by adjusting exemptions for both individuals and businesses.
Under this act, the corporate income tax rate would be reduced from 6.25 percent to 4.25 percent. The top individual income tax bracket would also be lowered from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent. These reforms reflect the recent changes in the federal tax code and provide an opportunity to reduce the tax burden on working Missourians. The reductions in income tax will be offset by a gradual increase of the Missouri fuel tax from 17 cents per gallon to 27 cents per gallon. Finally, SB 617 caps the low income housing tax credit program at $135 million each year and it streamlines sales tax exemptions.
The Missouri Economic Relief Act is currently on its 22nd version and is getting a thorough review by the public, stakeholders, and members of the Missouri Senate. I believe this legislation is a reasonable approach to reforming a complicated tax code.
VOLLEYBALL TEAM WINS CHAMPIONSHIP
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Saint Pius X High School volleyball team on earning the school’s third state volleyball championship on October 28, 2017, during the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s Class 2 final at the Show-Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Several members of the Saint Pius X volleyball team live in the 3rd Senatorial District and they should be commended for their hard work and dedication throughout their regular season and during their march to a state championship.
I always appreciate receiving visitors to my office. This week, my staff and I were privileged to meet the following constituents: John & Rebecca Jones & family, Chrissy Pashia & girls, Sharon Rodgers, Tara Oker, Jacob Rozner, Ethan Rozner, Marc Williams, Sandra Doty, Jon Cozean, Kathy Hart, Connie Lanaghan, Roberta Cook, Stephanie Buxten, Bill Jackson, Susan Valle, Kathy Condon-Boettcher, Pam Klipsch, Susan Summers, Jamie Lipe, Josh Carter, Jennifer Lee, Joshua Barrett and Mike Millikan. I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4008. You may write me at Gary Romine, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101; or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; or www.senate.mo.gov/romine.
Missouri 3rd District State Senator Gary Romine, R-Ste. Genevieve, files his Capitol Report at the end of each week during the state legislative session.