Critics say Missouri tax cuts could have negative effect on public safety

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by Ray Preston / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 30, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Updated Friday, May 30 at 5:40 PM

(KMOV.com) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said a series of tax breaks passed right before the legislature adjourned will have a negative effect on public safety.

Nixon’s office published a 28 page list of cities, counties, and ambulance districts that could be affected. The list also included a breakdown of how much each could potentially lose. Nixon said the cuts could affect police departments, fire protection, and snow plows that clear streets. In total, Gov. Nixon believes $351 million could be lost.

Officials said St. Charles County could lost more than $10.8 million, the city of St. Charles more than $2 million, and St. Peters may lose millions as well.

“That could impact city of St. Peters, 3.5 million dollars in a year,” said St. Peter’s Assistant City Administrator Tim Wilkinson. “Our budgets are just balanced and it's a struggle to balance the budget so if you take $3.5 million out of our revenue stream we have to figure out what services need to be cut to balance the budget.”

Critics of the bills said the lawmakers were not able to hear the argument against the proposals because they were passed in the 11th hour of the legislative session.

Wilkinson told News 4 it is devastating when forces beyond a city’s control force officials to make budget cuts.

"We have the revenue we think we can rely on and then the state goes into session and they decided, I guess, we'll be heroes and cut taxes here and there not realizing that someone else has to figure out what to do with that and there's going to be a service that suffers as a result of those cuts," Wilkinson said.

Supporters contend the tax cuts will help businesses re-invest and create more jobs. Other supporters are questioning if Nixon’s projections are accurate. Nixon has yet to veto or sign the bill.

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