Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for Sept. 1, 2022

Returning to the State Capitol

In the near future, my colleagues and I will return to the State Capitol for the start of an extra legislative session. Called by the governor, this extra session will focus on providing tax relief to countless Missourians throughout the Show-Me State.

In his call for an extra session, the governor is asking lawmakers to make several changes to the state’s tax code. First, he wants lawmakers to cut the state’s top income tax rate from 5.3% to 4.8%, while also increasing the standard deduction for individuals and married joint filers. In addition, he wants lawmakers to eliminate the state’s bottom income tax bracket. Many have questioned how the state can afford a tax cut of this size, but it is important to point out that our state is currently enjoying a $4 billion general revenue surplus. While other states are struggling, Missouri is thriving financially because of commonsense, conservative approaches to government spending. As a result, I believe we are in a sound financial position to cut taxes for hardworking Missourians. As we continue to see high prices at grocery stores and at gas stations throughout our state, I believe we must do everything we can to make life easier for our neighbors. By cutting the state’s top income tax rate, we are allowing Missourians to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.

In addition to cutting taxes, the governor has instructed lawmakers to establish several new tax credit programs and extend other existing ones that are designed to benefit our state’s agricultural industry. Agriculture is one of our state’s top economic drivers — it is a $93.7 billion industry in Missouri. Our state’s Ag industry employs nearly 460,000 people, and Missouri is home to 95,000 farms. As chair of the Senate’s Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee, I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure our state’s farmers and ranchers have the resources they need to succeed. After all, their success is more than just dollars and cents; it means Missouri families will have the opportunity to keep food on their tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have proudly supported these important tax credits in the past, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure they are passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor in the coming weeks.

Extra legislative sessions are reserved for matters of extraordinary consequence, and I cannot think of anything more important than helping the residents of our great state. Times are tough for everyone, gas prices are still high and groceries cost more than ever before. By cutting our state’s top income tax rate and reforming our tax code, taxpaying Missourians will be able to keep more of their hard-earned income where it belongs — in their pocketbook.

As always, I am honored to serve the citizens of the 6th Senatorial District. Please feel free to contact my office at 573-751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at