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Schweich Punts, Sinquefield Thrilled

Auditor Tom Schweich boldly announced today that he's not going to try to help Missouri voters understand the cost of Rex Sinquefield's sales tax hike proposals.  The closest he came to providing an honest assessment of Rex's plans was to say that he can't "predict that the petitions will have little or no fiscal impact on the state."  Impressive stuff, right there.

Sinquefield helped get Schweich elected and has made huge contributions the Republicans around Schweich, of course, so perhaps this isn't all that surprising.  It's also not surprising that Sinquefield's hired guns in Jefferson City were quick to tweet out the news of Schweich's big punt. 

Lobbyist Travis Brown, Sinquefield's top lobbyist and Speaker Steve Tilley business partner:

And unethical hack Carl Bearden, a Sinquefield lobbyist and director of the Sinquefield-funded "United for Missouri" organizations:

Any questions?

Despite Schweich's punt on the issue, Missourians have plenty of research to know how devastating Rex's plans would be.  Last year, the General Assembly's Joint Committee on Tax Policy found that the 7% cap on sales taxes would be far from revenue neutral, and would have to be much higher if a prebate program was instituted.  

We also have the recent analysis of Sinquefield's petitions by Jim Moody, a lobbyist who used to be Governor John Ashcroft's Commissioner of Administration, who found that Rex's plans would "bankrupt the state, or in the alternative, bankrupt the poor and the working lower and middle income classes."  GOP gubernatorial candidate Peter Kinder cited Moody's research in his explanation for why he isn' t endorsing Rex's plans (this year, any way). 

And the Missouri Budget Project and Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy have determined that a sales tax rate with a prebate program would need to be close to 11% to be revenue neutral.  

Image credit: Moberly Monitor



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