Missouri bill proposes tax credits for vacancies

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 | 7:23 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A legislative proposal could cause some Missouri residents to think twice: Would they rather have a representative at the state Capitol or a tax refund?

A bill scheduled to be heard Tuesday by a House committee would entitle people to income tax credits if they live in legislative districts that have been vacant for more than 180 days.

Some lawmakers are frustrated with how long Gov. Jay Nixon has taken to call elections for vacant seats. One southern Missouri House seat will have been empty for more than a year by the time a special election is held in August.

Current law requires governors to call elections "without delay" for legislative vacancies but sets no specific deadline.

The proposed tax credits could range from dozens to hundreds of dollars.

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