Sen. Karla Eslinger’s Legislative Column for Oct. 6, 2022

Delivering on a Promise

If you read my previous legislative column, you may recall the General Assembly was back in Jefferson City for an extra legislative session called by the governor. There were two issues before the Legislature: passing a historic tax cut, and enacting a package of incentives to support Missouri’s agricultural producers. I’m happy to report that my colleagues and I rose to the challenge and delivered on both aspects of the governor’s call.

Senate Bill 3, the tax cut legislation I discussed in my previous column, was signed by the governor this week. This legislation delivers much-needed tax relief to hardworking Missourians while still providing the resources to maintain essential services. Described as the largest tax cut in Missouri history, the measure lowers the top individual income tax rate to 4.95%, beginning with calendar year 2023. Slashing the tax rate from its current 5.3% level will save Missouri taxpayers more than $300 million in 2023 alone, according to the Office of Administration’s Budget and Planning Division. The good news does not end there, however.

The legislation also includes additional tax cuts tied to revenue growth. As state revenue rises, automatic triggers will lower the individual income tax rate even further, eventually falling to 4.5%, saving taxpayers nearly $1 billion if all the revenue thresholds are crossed. These gradual, revenue-dependent cuts are a responsible way to ensure Missourians pay no more tax than required to provide the necessary funding for public schools, nursing homes and other programs. I’m proud of the work we’ve done on this tax bill and I’m committed to keeping taxes low for all Missouri wage earners.

The other measure passed during the extra session, House Bill 3, is essentially identical to Senate Bill 8, which I previewed in my past column. Unlike House Bill 1720, a similar agriculture bill passed in May but vetoed by the governor, the new bill allows farmers and other agribusinesses six years to take advantage of tax credits instead of just two.

Agriculture is Missouri’s No. 1 industry and contributes more than $93 billion to the state’s economy, according to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. House Bill 3 includes a variety of incentives aimed at stimulating specific segments of Missouri agriculture. The legislation extends previously enacted tax credits for specialty crop producers, “new generation cooperatives,” timber products industries and meat processing facilities, among others. The bill also provides new tax credits for biodiesel and ethanol producers and urban farms. Missouri’s “Family Farms Act” is expanded to allow more small producers to qualify for financing at affordable rates. Two bills I sponsored this year also made it into the agriculture bill. Commercial log haulers in the 33rd District will benefit from regulatory relief I originally introduced as Senate Bill 785, while provisions from my Senate Bill 1152 clarifies the sales tax exemption for certain farm machinery purchases.

The governor called the Legislature back at the Capitol to enact meaningful tax relief and to make it easier for Missouri agricultural producers to thrive. We accomplished both tasks in short order, passing two good bills and saving Missouri taxpayers a lot of money. With the governor’s signature on these two bills, we can return to our districts and get back to listening to our constituents. I look forward to continuing to keep you informed of what I’m doing as your senator, and what I plan to tackle next session

It is my honor to serve the residents of Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Ripley, Texas, Webster and Wright counties in the Missouri Senate, and it’s always a pleasure to hear from friends and family back home. If I can help you in any way, please call my Capitol Office at 573-751-1882, or my District Office at 417-596-9011.  You can also visit my webpage at, on Facebook: @SenatorKarlaEslinger, or follow me on Twitter: @seneslingermo.