Aug. 6, 2013 Archive

We need your help!  THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION!!  Please call your Senator and Representative today!  ASK THEM TO VOTE NO ON THE MOTION TO OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR'S VETO OF HB 253 before August 15th.

The MRTA Legislative Committee and MRTA Board of Directors voted to support the Governor's veto of HB 253 asking Legislators to vote NO on the motion to override the Governor's Veto of HB 253.

The Governor's veto message on HB 253 can be found by clicking here. 

DO NOT BE FOOLED!  Proponents of the tax cuts are using cherry-picked data and misinformation to claim that tax cuts will benefit Missouri.  Education-hating billionaire, Rex Sinquefield of Saint Louis, has contributed $2.5 MILLION in the hopes that HB 253 will become law and that Public Schools will be starved of funding.  The television commercials have already started from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce with this money.  

For more information, check out www.missourifuture.net.

RETIREE AND SENIOR IMPACTS - HB 253 will negatively impact Retirees and Seniors.  This bill reinstates sales taxes on prescription drugs while at the same time cutting taxes for the wealthy and profitable corporations.  Moreover, revenue cuts will strip funding for services on which many seniors depend, like in-home care or nursing homes.  What's more, retirees will likely see property taxes increase, as local jurisdictions struggle to make up a portion of the funding lost for schools and other services. Such increases could force retirees living on fixed incomes out of their homes. 

PUBLIC EDUCATION IMPACTS - This is probably the most harmful bill for Public Education EVER!  This bill cuts taxes $650 to $800 million per year (conservative estimate). Currently, the Foundation Formula is $650 million underfunded per the 2005 Formula which cut funding by $1 billion from the 1993 Formula.  Since the Missouri Constitution states that public school funding is the #2 expenditure of state revenues after service to debt, it stands to reason that public education would take a huge hit if HB 253 becomes law. This would affect our retirement system from the standpoint of revenues coming in from school districts and school employees.

The cuts to services that would result from HB 253 would be particularly harmful to Public Education:

  • The State's Foundation Formula is already underfunded by $650 million, and misguided tax cuts would slash available funding even further. 
  • HB 253 will result in additional funding cuts, resulting in teacher layoffs and larger class sizes.
  • Every district would lose substantial funding if HB 253 becomes law. 
  • HB 253 is a tax scheme that would devastate state services like early childhood and K-12 education.

PROPERTY OWNER IMPACTS - HB 253 will make things worse on Property Owners. This policy of the current Legislature results in higher property taxes at the local level. Columbia and Springfield just recently raised their levies.  We could hire tens of thousands of new teachers if the Formula was funded.  

Although lawyers, lobbyists, and accountants could rely on a tax loophole to gain a significant tax cut, Missouri families with the median income of $48,000 annually would see only a $6 tax cut, which would quickly be eaten up by increased costs from a new sales tax on prescription drugs and increased federal taxes. 

The Republican Caucus is scheduled for August 15.  If an override of the veto of HB 253 is attempted it will likely be planned at this meeting.  We need to stop the efforts before they start!  Please start spreading the word.  MRTA hopes to be a valuable partner to the Public Education Coalition in the effort to sustain the veto so HB 253 does not become law.  Also note:  House Speaker Tim Jones has said an override of the veto is unlikely at this point; however, there is still more than a month before Veto Session begins and we can't trust that it will not be attempted. 

PLEASE CALL OR WRITE YOUR SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE AND ASK THEM TO VOTE NO ON THE OVERRIDE OF THE GOVERNOR'S VETO OF HB 253!   (Please state whatever else you feel is important). Please sign with your home address.

THANK YOU!

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