By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has a simple message for Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Go away.
Grow Missouri hopes Perry’s visit to Chesterfield in St. Louis County on Aug. 29 will bolster support for an income-tax cut passed by the Republican-controlled Missouri Legislature that was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
Kander accuses the Republican governor of trying to steal jobs from Missouri to take back to the Lone Star State.
“Simply poaching jobs from one state and bringing them to another doesn’t grow our nation’s economy, so I hope you reconsider your efforts and instead look at ways to cultivate new industries and companies in Texas, rather than just trying to steal other state’s successes,” Kander wrote.
Anne Maria Moy, a spokeswoman for Grow Missouri, told Missouri Watchdog that Perry’s visit to Missouri was already scheduled when her coalition connected with him for a speaking engagement.
“It just so happens his visit is coinciding with our effort to override Gov. Nixon’s veto of HB 253,” she said. “He’ll share his beliefs on pro-growth policies and talk about how important they have been to growth in Texas.”
A television ad is being aired in the St. Louis, Springfield and Columbia-Jefferson City markets touting Perry’s message, with small business owners “showcasing the opportunities and freedom available to families and businesses thanks to Texas’ smart, conservative fiscal policies,” as a news release from Perry’s office pitches it.
A private group, Texas One, is footing the more than $100,000 bill for the ads and trip.
Missouri is embroiled in a newfangled border war with Kansas, which recently cut tax rates on businesses and saw a nearly $90-million-more-than-expected jump in revenue this last fiscal year.
During the past session the Missouri Legislature passed HB 253, dubbed the Broad-Based Tax Relief Act of 2013, which reduced taxes on business income for corporations and small businesses and cut the personal income tax rate. Nixon said the bill was poorly drafted and could boost taxes on prescription medication and textbooks and reduce funding for education.
The GOP hopes to override Nixon’s pen in next month’s veto session in what should be a close race to get the two-thirds majority needed in the House.
Perry has made similar visits to California, Illinois and New York to promote what he has called the “Texas miracle.” Pundits opine the trips serve a second purpose — putting the failed presidential contender in front of voters for a 2016 run at the Oval Office.
Texas has no state income tax, and the Tax Foundation dubs its state tax climate the ninth best in the country. Missouri isn’t far behind, though, at 16th on the list.
Contact Kampis at [email protected]