Monday, January 07, 2008

Blunt and Nixon Unveil Dueling Tax Cut Plans

***UPDATES FROM BOTH CAMPS BELOW***

Governor Matt Blunt and his likely Democratic challenger Jay Nixon both unveiled tax cut plans Monday, with Nixon taking shots at Blunt's economic priorities.

Blunt is asking lawmakers to eliminate the tax on military retirees. "The retirement benefits they have earned represent more than ordinary work, they represent a special sacrifice and commitment to our country," Blunt said in a statement.

Nixon is proposing property tax relief for an estimated 65,000 Missourians, by eliminating the marriage penalty and expanding the property tax credit program from $750 to $1000.

“Property taxes are skyrocketing across our state, and thousands of Missourians, particularly seniors, are struggling to make payments and keep their homes," Attorney General Nixon said.

Rep. Clint Zweifel of St. Louis will introduce Nixon's plan. It's unclear who will carry Blunt's legislation.

At a news conference today, Zweifel used the opportunity to take shots at Blunt's priorities.

“Last fall, Governor Blunt called a special session to pass an economic development bill, but instead of giving property tax relief to regular Missourians, he handed out $95 million in tax credits to one wealthy developer,” Rep. Zweifel said. “Those are the wrong priorities."

***CORRECTION*** . . . Nixon's spokesperson notes that the campaign's release does include a cost estimate of between $43 to $51 million dollars. I previously incorrectly reported that neither release noted a cost estimate.

***UPDATE . . . Blunt spokesperson Rich Chrismer points me to the Governor's proposed changes to the local property tax system HERE. We were out of town in Iowa when Blunt released his plan. It includes requiring taxpayers be notified of estimated tax rates earlier in the year and implementing "safeguards to avoid back-door increases." Chrismer also tells the KY3 Political Notebook Blunt's tax cut for veterans would cost about $24 million dollars a year.

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