Kansas City, Mo. – A bill that would give the Missouri General Assembly control over almost every state tax credit is being debated in the State Senate.
The bill's supporters, including GOP Senator Chuck Purgason, say giving lawmakers control over the size of each tax break would ensure that they can set aside enough money to fund education, health care and other critical needs.
"When you are sitting there trying to make a decision whether to cut Medicaid, not fund the formula, or issue tax credits, I think that's an issue that we need to make," says Purgason.
Purgason is also running for the U.S. Senate. The bill's opponents say it could strip millions of dollars from programs that create jobs and provide services to the needy.
Lobbyist Jim Moody says many of the tax credits in question have been helping needy Missourians for years.
"Whereas, someone in a market rate might have to pay a rent of $700 or $750, the tax credits involved in these programs might reduce that rent to, say, $350 to $400 for an elderly person."
A Senate Committee heard testimony on the bill but did not take a vote.