View from the Capitol, by State Rep. Ed Schieffer

 Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

Rep. Ed Schieffer

Rep. Ed Schieffer

Thank you to all the winners of the primary elections and to those who voted.

Thanks to everyone who offered to be a public servant.

It takes lots of money, time and energy to run for office.

For those who gave of their time and resources, thank you for caring enough to get involved in the democratic process.

A small number of voters actually participated in the primary.

Please vote again on November 4 and bring three voters with you to the polls.

Remember you can vote early after September 23 or request an absentee ballot.

On Friday, August 1, I met with Governor Jay Nixon in Fulton, MO.

The Governor and several leaders held a news conference to discuss the tax breaks that were passed on the last day of the session on May 16.

Present at the Friday meeting were Missouri municipal officials who expressed the following concerns.

In the final hours of the legislative session, the General Assembly passed 10 bills containing more than a dozen special tax carve-outs and loopholes that would reduce state and local revenues by $776 million annually, including more than $93 million from public school funding and $351 million from local sales revenues.

Over the past several months, local officials from more than 60 municipalities and organizations have voiced their opposition to these bills.

“We need to be investing in public education and preparing students to compete in the global economy, not eroding voter-approved resources that our schools rely on to educate our kids,” Gov. Nixon said. “That’s why I’m confident that legislators will stand with their schools this September and sustain my vetoes of these irresponsible and unnecessary bills.”

The Office of Administration and the Legislative Oversight Division have both estimated the local impact of these tax exemptions ranging from $224 million to $325 million.

By approving these tax exemptions, the State Legislature has effectively exerted management over the budgets of local governments in Missouri.

These actions reduce the tax base of virtually every community in Missouri and place at risk initiatives approved by local voters.

Revenue reductions to local sales taxes will prohibit us from completing capital projects approved by voters.

It also puts at risk the timely repayment of bonds issued for essential local government services such as 911 call centers and community recreation centers.

Many communities in Missouri have a long history of delivering promised projects to voters.

These exemptions place this history of accountability at risk.

Republican legislators have stated they will attempt to override the Governor’s vetoes when they return to the Capitol for the annual veto session on September 10.

I will vote to sustain the Governor’s vetoes protecting the revenues for state, county, and municipal governments for the 10th Senatorial District and the entire state of Missouri.

As always, I respect your trust and value your advice, comments, and questions.

Please feel free to call my office in Jefferson City at (573)751-9459 or toll free at (855)285-3781.

You may call me locally at (636)299-3270 or (636)462-7295.

If you wish to fax my office, our number is (573)522-0441.

You may email me at ed.schieffer@house.mo.gov.

You may go to the following website to check legislation and other House information:  http://www.house.mo.gov/billcentral.aspx?pid=26.

Now that the House has adjourned, I will be in the district if you would like to visit with me personally.

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