JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mel Carnahan's plan to reduce the state sales tax on food by three cents is headed to the Senate floor with two tax-cuts tacked on.
The proposal was voted out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Monday with the attachment of a tax cut on private pensions and another tax cut for preservation of historical buildings.
The pension tax cut, sponsored by Sen. John Russell, R-Lebanon, would exempt the first $6,000 of a private pension from the state income tax - extending the tax exemption now provided for government pensions. The price tag for the exemptions would reach approxiately $60 million after a full year.
"This is something I've been working on for three or four years," Russell said. "The committee wanted it in there, but I'd say it has a remote chance on the floor and not much more than a remote chance."
The historical preservation tax credit was also added to the bill for the purpose of helping restore historical buildings in the state.
The governor's plan was the first bill approved by the House this year after receiving the support of the Speaker of the House, Steve Gaw, D-Moberly, and well over 100 other representatives.
Only food that also is covered by federal food stamps would be eligible for the three cent sales tax reduction under the bill.
"I'm happy the bill is finally moving forward with the full three cents in there," Gaw said. "I am concerned about the additional things, not that there aren't merits to those proposals. But, I hope it doesn't start an avalanche of people loading it up on the Senate floor."
But the Senate committee chairman voiced doubts about even his committee's additions being retained by the full Senate.
"Just because proposals are added in committee doesn't mean they'll stay on once it's brought up on the floor," said Senate Ways and Means Chairman Harry Wiggins, D-Kansas City. "In fact, I bet there will be some changes."
[Missouri Digital News is supported by the Missouri School of Journalism (home of the The Journalist's Creed),
the Missouri Press Association,
KMOX Radio in St. Louis,and
KSMU Radio in Springfield
MDN was designed and is managed by Phill Brooks]