Senator Kraus Issues Statement Regarding Report on Tax Credit Reform

Kraus - Statement - 031213

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Will Kraus, R–Lee’s Summit, today issued the following statement regarding the release of the Governor’s Committee on Simple, Fair and Low Taxes’ report on tax credit reform:

“Shortly after taking office in January, the governor established the Governor’s Committee on Simple, Fair and Low Taxes to evaluate Missouri’s tax policies and tax credit programs and provide detailed recommendations for reform. The committee’s ultimate goal was to find out whether reforming our tax credit programs could lead to tax rate cuts for all Missourians.

As someone who’s strived to be a champion of tax reform on behalf of our citizens and business community, I was honored to be invited by the governor to join the 10-member committee. In addition to myself, committee members included seven current and former lawmakers; the governor’s policy director and the director of the Department of Revenue. Earlier today, we released our findings in a 33-page report entitled, ‘Tax Credit Reform: Recommendations To Make Missouri A Best-In-Class State.’

At the outset, we adopted six core principles to help guide our recommendations: simple, fair, low, efficient, transparent and stable/predictable. In the months since the committee was formed, we sought insight from members of the public and subject matter experts at public hearings and via written comment. We also held town hall meetings in Maryville, Hannibal, Cape Girardeau and Springfield to help ensure that Missourians in every corner of the state had their voices heard.

Overall, this has been a highly informative and valuable process. I’m proud to say the committee has identified specific problems with our current tax credit system and provided some practical solutions. Although there are certainly other areas relating to taxes that need to be addressed, I’m pleased our recommendation was to first focus on reforming our tax credits — the use of which has primarily gone to political insiders who’ve been gaming the system for years. The first tax credit program was adopted in 1973. Today, we have several dozen programs that accounted for more than $575 million in redemptions in Fiscal Year 2016.

This report is a great first step on the much larger path that is comprehensive tax reform. I look forward to working with the members of the committee and my House and Senate colleagues as we turn these recommendations into legislation and then into action. ”