I probably better write a few line of explanation about the Governor's latest "The Sky is Falling" warnings. If you remember, we talked several months ago about the "Consensus Budget Figures". These figures are best estimates from the budget committees of the House, Senate, Governor's office, and Missouri University. Everyone but the Governor agreed that our growth next year would be about 4% or a little less. The Governor insisted on 5.8%, which we refused to use. After completing the yearly chore of presenting a balanced budget, the researchers began to look at how the Governor could possibly anticipate that much revenue growth. General Revenue comes primarily from sales tax and state income taxes. What was discovered was that there were plans to re-visit tax returns from small businesses and "clarify, re-define, and re-interpret" current tax statutes. The businesses would then be presented a bill for uncollected sales tax and Voila, we have an increase of General Revenue. With over 2,000 small businesses in Newton and McDonald Counties alone, that figure would be really significant. Remember, it's up to the business to prove that a sale was tax-exempt, not the state. The "loss of revenue" that the Governor is warning about is really the loss of additional revenue that should not be collected. During the last couple of weeks of session, the Senate discovered this potential scheme and passed bills to prohibit "clarifications" in statute. This is what the Governor is referring to as last minute behind the scenes tax breaks!
Enough fun for now, more next week. Until then, I am and remain in your service.