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Capitol Update

This week the House made the decision to allow the investigative committee to continue to investigate the situation with Governor Greitens.  The Committee will investigate through May 18. At the end of the investigation the House has the ability to call itself into special session for the purpose of contemplating charges of impeachment. Impeachment means that the House believes there is enough evidence to bring charges against the Governor. If the House approves Articles of Impeachment, the Senate would then select a special commission of “seven eminent jurists,” comprised of judges of the circuit courts, to try the case. The House would select managers to prosecute the case. The commission would ultimately decide if the Governor should be removed from office. 

I can assure you that at this point both the House and Senate are continuing to move bills and doing the work of the state. We will continue to not let this slow us down from the task we were elected to do. 

This week Conference Committee was held on HB 1291. This bill is for St. Francois County and will allow them to more effectively use the Special Road and Bridge Tax fund. While in the Senate, 10 amendments were put on the bill. It is now an omnibus bill for local and county government. This week the Conference Committee which is comprised of Senators and Representatives was signed off on. It will now go back to the Senate and House for one more vote then to the Governor.

HB 2306 will be coming to the House floor in the near future. This bill will help individual land owners and municipalities to access the funds from the ASARCO settlement. This is the settlement for the lands in the Big River Watershed that were affected by lead contamination. There is currently still $24.5 million left in the settlement. 

HB 1290 was passed out of the House this week as part of a large veteran’s bill. It specifies that all state properties that have the proper poles to fly the US, Missouri and POW/MIA flags together will fly the POW/MIA flag if given one. There will be no cost to the state for this bill.  The bill was brought to me by many of our local VFW’s. 

The tax cut bill was passed by the House this week. HB 2540 is the largest income and business tax cut in Missouri history. It would lower the personal income from 5.9 percent to 5 percent. The business tax would be lowered from 6.25 percent to 5 percent. HB 2540 would also update driver’s license and tag fees and they would continue to adjust over the years based on inflation. This would generate nearly $2 billion over a ten year period to update roads and bridges. It would also annually appropriate money to the senior protection fund, which will be used for vital services to our state’s most vulnerable seniors. With the cuts it will be necessary to generate more funds or cut services. If passed in the Senate it would not take place until 2020 allowing the House to study the effects the cuts would have for one year. 

Revenue Generators

It would require Missouri to join the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement. This is an agreement between Missouri and other states to collect sales tax on online purchases. Currently many retailers voluntarily collect sales tax on online purchases in Missouri however, many small retailers do not. Collecting sales tax on all online purchases would generate between $10 and $230 million annually. 

It would also cap the 2 percent timely filing discount for sales tax at $1,500 a month. It was previously unlimited. It also would eliminate the 2 percent timely filing discount for employee withholding tax. 

It would eliminate the renter portion of the Circuit Breaker Tax.

It would phase out the federal income tax deduction for individuals and businesses with over $150,000 in income. 

It would eliminate the three-factor apportionment method for calculating business tax liability and switch to solely a single factor test. Currently out of state companies can calculate their tax liability in a way that allows them to pay less than businesses with property and payroll in the state of Missouri. Switching to a single sales tax factor test is supposed to create a level playing field. 

There are two Senate versions of a tax cut and one in the House. As late as we are in the legislative session, I will be surprised if any are passed into law this year. 

HB 1915  (NO-CALL LIST) This bill changes the penalty provisions for knowingly violating the law relating to the no-call list. The bill creates a $2,500 to $5,000 civil penalty for the first violation, a $5,000 to $10,000 penalty for the second violation, and a $7,500 to $15,000 penalty for the third violation. The bill also requires that whenever the Attorney General is successful in any proceeding it initiates against a violator of the no-call list law that at least $100 from any civil penalty be awarded to the individual who reported the violation.

SB 573 This bill allows members of the National Guard or reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States to deduct such military income from his or her Missouri adjusted gross income to determine such taxpayer’s Missouri taxable income. The percentage of such income that may be deducted will be phased in between tax years 2020 and 2024 in 20 percent increments. The income tax deduction will only apply to income received as salary or compensation in performance of Inactive Duty for Training (IDT) of the National Guard, Annual Training Status (AT) of the National Guard, or in reserve components of the Armed Forces of the United States. The deduction does not apply to income received while engaging in civilian federal service, including civil service positions requiring the wearing of military uniform and military affiliation.

We have three weeks to get a state budget completed. The House has completed its budget and is waiting on the Senate. The budget is probably the most important thing we do. Missouri has an approximately $28 billion budget to meet the needs of all of its citizens. When the Senate version is complete a Conference Committee made up of Senators and Representatives will work out the differences in the two budgets. Then both chambers will need to approve the final budget.  

I want to thank you for letting me serve as your State Representative. If my office can be of any assistance to you, please let me know.

Rep. Mike Henderson

Rep. Mike Henderson

This report was filed April 19, 2018

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