Friday, July 06, 2007

A Blunt Veto: Splits the Governor with Kinder, Could Spur Special Session

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has vetoed a massive package of tax breaks he says is "loaded down with excessive spending."

But the Governor contends he is prepared to call lawmakers back for a special session if they are willing to pass a slimmed-down version of the economic development bill.
The vetoed bill would have spent an estimated $200 million in excess of Quality Jobs reauthorization, and there were unknown expenses associated with the legislation that could cost Missourians even more, according to a release from the Governor's office.

Projects that Blunt had problems with included creation of an “eminent domain train,” tax breaks for “phantom flights” to Europe and a provision that would harm many existing Missouri employers by putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

“There are important initiatives in the bill,” Blunt said. “The Quality Jobs Act we created in 2005 has helped Missourians create more than 94,000 new jobs since 2005. Ultimately, however, it became loaded with excessive spending that simply does not benefit the average Missouri taxpayer. There is no difference between spending taxpayer dollars by appropriations and spending them by tax credits. Each should meet the same test of fiscal responsibility.”

“I am committed to signing a fiscally responsible expansion of Quality Jobs, Enhanced Enterprise Zones and the New Market Tax Credits. The savings from a sounder bill will benefit the state for decades to come,” Blunt added.

The veto comes on the same day Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder penned an editorial supporting the legislation in the St. Louis Business Journal. has Kinder's entire editorial.

The tax-cut legislation posed the largest question mark as the governor weighed whether to sign or veto bills by a mid-July deadline.

No comments: