JEFFERSON CITY - Eliminating the state income was debated Thursday at the Missouri Press Association and The Associated Press Day at the Capitol.
Anne Marie Moy, of "Let Voters Decide", spoke in favor of the Missouri Taxpayers Relief Act, which would eliminate the state income tax.
"We want to move taxation away from income and toward choice," says Moy. "Missourians are taxed twice; both for the money they make and the money they spend. We seek to eliminate this double taxation."
Moy argued that eliminating the state income tax would increase the population and therefore boost the state's economy. Moy says the state currently ranks among the bottom in GDP growth, which she says is "shameful." The elimination of personal income tax will add growth to the state's population, cites Moy, which currently is at 18 people per day, compared to 76 people per day in Tennessee and 380 people per day in Texas- both states without a state income tax.
"Missouri can become a great state again; great states grow," says Moy.
Opposing the end of state income tax was Jim Moody of Missourians for Fair Taxations and James R. Moody Associates, a lobbying firm.
"We rely on three forms of taxation: income, sales, and property," says Moody, "We cannot cut one leg off of a three-legged stool."
Moody also says that the proposed legislation would give an advantage to those with higher incomes and a disadvantage to those with low to moderate income and senior citizens living on Social Security or penchants. He believes the proposal will also pose problems for businesses.
"States without income taxes, like Tennessee, get by through taxing the hell out of businesses," says Moody.
Missouri's two largest cities closely border other states, a problem according to Moody.
"This will cause a web of tax avoidance, especially on border cities, like Kansas City," says Moody.
"People shop where they live," replied Moy.
The plan is currently a petition and if it receives enough signatures, it will go on the ballot for voters to approve.