Texas Gov. Perry backs Mo. income tax cut


DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry waded into Missouri’s political battle over taxes Thursday, endorsing an uphill effort by Republican legislators to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of an income tax cut.

Perry’s backing of the proposed tax cut came on the same day that a Texas marketing group began running a radio ad in Missouri criticizing Nixon’s veto and encouraging Missouri businesses to consider moving to Texas.

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The Texas Republican plans to make a personal appearance Aug. 29 in Missouri to tout Texas’ business-friendly environment during events sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a coalition of groups backing the veto override attempt.

Perry said he also plans to meet with specific Missouri businesses as part of a Texas recruitment effort, though he declined to identify them.

“The veto was a very clear message to the people of Missouri that this administration — the Nixon administration — believes in higher taxes,” Perry said in a telephone interview Thursday with The Associated Press.

He added: “I think it’s good for the country to be having a discussion about states competing against each other.”

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A Nixon spokesman had no immediate comment Thursday about Perry’s remarks or his impending visit.

Democratic Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, whose office handles business registrations, sent a public letter to Perry urging him to stay away from Missouri.

“Simply poaching jobs from one state and bringing them to another doesn’t grow our nation’s economy,” Kander said.

Missouri lawmakers are to convene Sept. 11 to consider overriding Nixon’s veto of the tax cut legislation and 28 other bills that he spiked.

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The legislation would gradually reduce the state’s individual and corporate income tax rates, as long as state revenues continue to rise by at least $100 million annually. It also would enact a new tax deduction for business income reported on individual tax returns. Other provisions would trigger an additional reduction in the state’s income tax rates if Congress were to pass a measure making it easier for states to collect taxes on online sales.

Nixon has warned that the tax cuts could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars, leading to funding cuts for education, mental health care and other services. He also has highlighted an apparent drafting error in the bill that would result in state sales taxes being charged on prescription drugs.