(The Center Square) – Missourians would get a one-time tax credit of $500, or $1,000 if married and filing a joint tax return, under a new bill filed Monday in the House of Representatives.
House Bill 3021 will appropriate approximately $1 billion from the state’s general revenue fund for a one-time economic recovery tax credit. It would be non-refundable and limited to individuals who resided in Missouri during the entire 2021 tax year.
Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage and the House budget chairman, is the bill’s sponsor. When the House passed the fiscal year 2023 budget last week, many Democrats criticized Republicans for failing to fund a wide range of state services while allowing a projected surplus of approximately $2 billion on June 30, 2023.
“As families struggle to make ends meet with the rising cost of inflation, it’s important that we do everything we can to help them keep more of their hard-earned dollars,” Smith said in a statement announcing his bill. “The state is fortunate to have a record surplus that we can use a portion of to provide direct economic relief to working Missourians.”
The bill is scheduled to be heard in Smith’s committee Wednesday.
Democrats also criticized Republicans for not fully funding increases for first-year teacher salaries to $38,000, a priority in Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s proposed budget.
“The governor came out and loudly said, ‘We’re going to pay teachers more,'” Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis and ranking minority member of the House budget committee, told reporters last week. “We’re not going to be a state that lets teachers make less than $38,000 a year. And the Republicans in the House said they’re OK with it. I’m not OK with it. I don’t think that the people of our state are OK with it, and I hope the Senate isn’t OK with it.”
Smith’s media release stated House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, majority floor leader Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, and Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon, all support the bill.
“As a caucus, we have made it clear that we do not support the idea of spending every available dollar to increase the size of government, but instead believe Missourians are the best decision makers for how to spend their tax dollars,” Vescovo, Plocher and Wiemann said in a joint statement.
Smith’s announcement stated Vescovo would make the bill a priority for the House in the final weeks of the legislative session, ending May 13. Smith said he and Vescovo worked together during “the past few months to find the best solution for providing substantive relieve to working Missourians.”
A fiscal note wasn’t included on the bill’s website. The bill says the Department of Revenue would receive $2.5 million for administering the tax credit.
If the sum of all tax credits in the bill exceeds the appropriation, the smallest uniform percentage will be used to calculate the tax credit for all filing an individual or joint return to bring the amount under $1 billion.
Featured photo by Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications