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‘It’s Your Money Act’ proposes $500 credits for Missouri tax filers

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Missouri Senate 2022

Missouri State Senator Lincoln Hough presides over the Senate chamber in Jefferson City on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY — One Missouri lawmaker wants to send every tax filer $500, potentially draining billions from the state budget.

Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, titled the proposal the “It’s Your Money Act,” explaining it as a refund to taxpayers.

“I don’t believe people pay taxes so that the government can put the money in the bank,” Hough said. “I believe most people agree that some taxes and services rendered by the state are necessary. However, the idea that we are currently carrying a $3 billion balance in general revenue is, in my opinion, a little bit problematic to my conservative roots. I would like to see that money returned.”

Under the measure, every Missouri resident filing a state tax return would have a one-time $500 credit applied to their return. The credit would be applied first to any state taxes owed.

A nonpartisan fiscal analysis calculated the refunds would cost the state over $2.4 billion if every adult resident of the state received the credit.

“The size of the fiscal note is perhaps a little bit larger than maybe we’re normally comfortable with,” said Jeremy LaFaver of the Missouri Budget Project. “But the concept of returning funds to taxpayers is something that we’d want to explore.”

LaFaver said by targeting a portion of the refunds to people making under $69,000, about half a billion dollars for the credits could come from federal ARPA funds.

The measure contains an emergency clause, and if passed, the bill states residents would receive the payments by June 1, 2022.

The legislation is Senate Bill 1138.

Posted at 11:10 a.m. Thursday, March 31.

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