Costs of Legislative Tax Break Bills Raise Questions

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - State lawmakers may need a big calculator to figure out how much a slew of tax breaks passed this year will ultimately cost.

House Budget Chairman Allen Icet says lawmakers planned to spend about $40 million on tax cuts.  But they likely exceeded that by tens of millions of dollars.

For example, legislation designed to expand an existing tax credit for job growth by $12 million attracted a wealth of new programs.  Officials estimate the bill now costs at least $103 million.

Governor Blunt began the session heralding a plan to set aside $200 million for future years.  Now, he may have to veto some of the tax incentives to bring the price tag down.

Experts say tax incentives are too politically popular for lawmakers to vote down.

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