LETTER: Tell the Missouri General Assembly to support fair tax

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | 1:29 p.m. CDT; updated 6:49 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 18, 2009

Let your Missouri Ways and Means Committee know you support House Joint Resolution 36, Missouri's opportunity to pass the fair tax at the state level. According to the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in "Keeping Missouri Competitive," economic growth from 1990 to 2006 ranks second from last when compared to the gross domestic product growth of its border neighbors (Arkansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Illinois). In addition, our population growth is slower than the national average. Finally, our job growth is second from last when compared to our border neighbors. We have an opportunity to change these statistics by attracting industry to our state. We must eliminate individual and corporate income tax. We are competing in a national and global market for revenue markets that continue to shrink almost daily. We have to be able to offer the better mousetrap to businesses looking to relocate or start up in tax-friendly states.

The resolution will be heard in the Senate Ways and Means Committee (currently promised for noon Wednesday, but subject to change at the chairman's discretion). Opposing groups have misconstrued the facts of the bill claiming it will raise the current Missouri state sales tax from 4.225 percent to 9 percent. In reality, it will raise the sales tax from the current rate to 5.11 precent, NOT BY 5.11 percent. If passed in the Senate, the Missouri fair tax (the first state bill modeled after the national fair tax bill, House Resolution 25, including a rebate resulting in a totally untaxed low-wage earner) will go straight to a referendum by the people. It would be on the ballot in August or November 2010 and be effective in 2012, if it passes a vote of the people.

The House Joint Resolution 36, as it would appear on a ballot, is:

"A 'yes' vote will amend the Constitution of the State of Missouri to eliminate individual and corporate income tax, estate tax, and state and local sales and use tax and to enact a single, revenue-neutral sales tax of five and eleven one-hundredths percent on new purchases of goods and services, and to exempt property purchased for business or investment from the sales tax, and to provide each qualified family with a monthly sales tax rebate.

"A 'no' vote would not amend the Constitution of the State of Missouri."

The biggest significance of this issue is that, if passed, Missouri could be the incubator for proving that the fair tax works and offers to be an economic magnet to business. Once the fair tax's validity is established in time instead of theory, the path would be paved for other states and eventually the federal government to switch to this economic model.

If you want to see the fair tax vision fulfilled, please join us at the Capitol on Wednesday. If you cannot attend, call your senators today and voice your support. Missouri's economic growth is dependent upon its ability to compete.

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