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The Lake News Online
  • Rep. Rocky Miller staunch in support for tax cuts

  • A lake-area state representative is setting the record straight on his support of tax cuts approved during the last hours of the 2014 Missouri legislature.
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  • A lake-area state representative is setting the record straight on his support of tax cuts approved during the last hours of the 2014 Missouri legislature.
    Representative Rocky Miller (R-124) issued a statement after the city of Osage Beach and Lake Ozark came out in opposition to the tax cuts. Miller stands by his decision to support the cuts as a means of easing the strain felt by the "working poor." It's about businesses in general, too, he said.
    "At some point enough is enough, we pay enough taxes," Miller said.
    The tax cuts have drawn fire from Osage Beach and Lake Ozark city governments. The cities are concerned the tax cuts will have a detrimental impact on their tax revenues.
    "I would like to clarify my position and actions as it pertains to the sales tax relief bills. I voted for these sales tax relief bills because I believe that you, the taxpayer, can do a better job with your money than the government can. More specifically, I believe that the working poor should be given a break when acquiring transportation to work, eliminating sales tax on vehicles 10 years or older and costing less than $15,000 does that," Miller said. "I also believe that ill people taking experimental drugs should not have to pay sales tax on those drugs; other prescription drugs are currently tax exempt."
    Miller said he has been to many meetings in the past, but sometimes his schedule does not allow him to be at all of the municipal meetings in the district he represents. He would also like to point out that he was not invited to the city of Osage Beach meeting when the tax cuts were discussed.
    "I was at the city of Lake Ozark and Tri-County Lodging [Association] meetings and I spoke about sales tax relief and the inaccuracy of the impact on all entities at those meetings," he said in the statement. "I would also note that I spoke with both county presiding commissioners (Miller and Camden county) about this and discussed the impact of these sales tax reductions. However, no representative from either Lake Ozark or Osage Beach contacted me to discuss these bills."
    Apparently, these municipalities believe they need to protect their revenue stream on the back of the working poor and the ill, Miller said.
    "They have a champion in Governor Nixon, who believes the same," he said. "I, however, believe in smaller more efficient government and that the taxpayer would rather keep their money rather than give it to the government."
    The fate of those tax-cut bills approved by the Missouri legislature is once again in the legislators’ hands after vetoed by Nixon.
    The bills, passed on the last day of the session, would provide tax breaks to data storage centers, power companies, fitness centers, restaurants and farmers markets, among others. Nixon called the bills “secret sweetheart deals” that were not part of the fiscal year 2015 budget.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Legislature can override vetoes during a September session, but a two-thirds majority in each chamber is required. Miller said he would support efforts to override the veto. He believes the impact on the municipalities will be marginal.
    The governor’s vetoes reflected the wishes of at least two lake-area municipalities who went on record as opposing the bills and urging Nixon to veto. Osage Beach administration wrote a letter urging the governor to veto the bills, and Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen Tuesday passed a resolution to that effect.
    Lake Ozark City Administrator Dave Van Dee told his board that he does not want anything to interfere with the city’s revenue stream.
    The measures are Senate Bills 584, 612, 662 and 693.
    The Missouri Department of Revenue provided estimates of how much Missouri cities would be impacted, although many now believe those numbers were inflated. Osage Beach could lose more than $1.14 million and Lake Ozark $310,378.
    City Administrator Nancy Viselli said before Nixon’s veto that “even if their estimate is double what the actual number is, it would still have a major impact on the city of Osage Beach and Camden and Miller counties.”
    Van Dee had a similar take.
    “For us to lose any of our potential revenue is problematic,” he said.

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