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Tax-limits champion honored at Missouri Capitol

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 | 5:03 p.m. CDT
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, right, unveils a bronze bust of tax-limit supporter Mel Hancock during a ceremony Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. Hancock led an effort to approve a state constitutional amendment in 1980 limiting state revenues and local taxes.

JEFFERSON CITY — A southwestern Missouri man who led a petition effort to limit state revenues and local taxes was inducted Wednesday into the state Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians.

Mel Hancock was a businessman when he sought a Missouri constitutional amendment voters passed in 1980. Now known as the "Hancock Amendment," the measure establishes a state revenue limit, bars state government from imposing unfunded mandates on local governments and requires voter approval for local tax increases.

When revenues exceed the cap, tax refunds are triggered. It happened regularly from 1995-99 when $972 million was refunded to taxpayers.

Hancock later served four terms in Congress and built a reputation as a fiscal and social conservative. He died in November 2011.

The Hall of Famous Missourians is a collection of bronze busts that honor people generally chosen by the House speaker that are displayed between the House and Senate chambers. Among those already included are President Harry Truman, Walt Disney, Mark Twain, George Washington Carver, Betty Grable and Ginger Rogers.

House Speaker Tim Jones selected Hancock for inclusion and said Hancock's vision and leadership have helped put Missouri onto the right path.

Hancock was among four inductees announced this past December. Two were chosen through a public nomination and voting process.


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