As you read this, there is a proposal making its way through Missouri that will have a devastating impact on your finances. It’s called the Everything Tax and it would create a sweeping new tax on nearly everything you buy.
The Everything Tax is being circulated as a proposed amendment to the Missouri state constitution and it would replace the state income tax with a new, 10-percent, statewide sales tax that increases the tax you pay on most everything you buy, every day.
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Milk, bread, groceries, emergency room visits, in-home care costs, and car repairs for example are all taxed.
Needless to say, the Everything Tax will hit senior citizens especially hard. First, most senior citizens don’t pay any income tax to begin with, so eliminating it does nothing for them. Second, seniors tend to live on a fixed income and the Everything Tax would create a new expense they can’t afford by taxing their groceries, emergency room visits, and in-home care.
In addition, the Everything Tax makes an already bad budget situation in the Show Me State worse.
First of all, sales tax revenues in Missouri have been decreasing over the last five years, not increasing. Tying the state’s budget to a decreasing pot of money is bad fiscal policy.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, creating a new, 10-percent, statewide sales tax to replace the state income tax will result in a massive budget shortfall. When fully implemented in 2016, the Everything Tax will create a shortfall of $3.2 billion, forcing cuts to crucial programs like Medicaid.
A newly formed coalition, the Coalition for Missouri’s Future www.MissouriFuture.org , is working to defeat the Everything Tax and you can help. Sign up for the email list and, if you can, volunteer to help us out down the road.
The other side will have millions to spend on this, but we have the power of the millions of Missourians. We just need your help to harness it.
AARP Missouri is a member of the Coalition for Missouri’s Future. Richard Martin and James Moody are the leaders of the Coalition for Missouri’s’ Future.