EUREKA, Mo. – Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones has asked Attorney General Chris Koster to provide his legal opinion on claims made by Governor Nixon that the legislature’s tax cut bill would allow Missourians to retroactively benefit from a tax reduction.
Jones released a memorandum today from the General Assembly’s Legislative Research Department that refutes the governor’s claims. Jones also submitted a letter to Koster formally requesting a legal opinion on the provision in HB 253 dealing with the Federal Marketplace Fairness Act and what the governor claims would be a retroactive tax cut.
“The governor has taken great liberties with the truth during his campaign against the most significant tax cut Missourians have seen in nearly a century. His claims of a retroactive tax cut that would generate a significant revenue shortfall are sensationalized talking points and not in any way based on statutory reality or legal precedent,” said Jones, R-Eureka. “I am confident that Attorney General Koster will come to the same conclusion as our legislative research division that there is no language in HB 253, nor in existing statute, that would in any way authorize the income tax reduction to be applied retroactively.”
In his veto letter of HB 253, Nixon stated the provision “could enable taxpayers to seek refunds of taxes previously paid for up to three tax years (due to the three year statute of limitations for filing amended returns)”. Jones noted that the price tag the governor has attempted to tie to the bill is largely based on the flawed assumption that Missourians would receive approximately $900 million in retroactive tax cuts.
The memo drafted by Legislative Research and released by Jones today refuted the governor’s claims by concluding that “relevant constitutional, statutory, and case law suggest that the reduction in state income tax rates required under the provisions of HB 253 upon passage of the FMFA could only apply prospectively, and income tax rates and returns for previous tax years would not be affected.” The memo references Article 1 Section 13 of the Missouri Constitution as well as court rulings in Goad v. Treasurer of State, Graham Paper Co. v. Gehner and Matteson v. Director of Revenue. “It is time to shine the light of truth on the governor’s deceptive claims. I urge Attorney General Koster to issue an opinion on this matter quickly as the people of Missouri deserve for this media circus generated by the governor to come to an end. Our focus should not be on combatting the governor’s fear-mongering tactics, but instead on providing Missourians with substantive tax relief that will grow our economy and move our state in a positive direction,” said Jones.
As a member of the Missouri General Assembly, Jones is authorized to request a formal opinion from the Attorney General under Section 27.040 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.