By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
Don’t worry about having to pay Missouri state income taxes on those stimulus checks.
State lawmakers have approved a bill that would exempt the $1,200 checks Congress doled out as part of the COVID-19 relief package.
“This is a huge win for Missouri taxpayers. Missouri is one of only six states that because of a quirk in our tax code was going to tax the COVID-19 stimulus checks that many people who make under $75,000 a year receive,” State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer of Parkville tells St. Joseph Post.
Luetkemeyer says the state had no business taking a piece out of those checks.
“That money was meant to go in the pockets of working Missouri families, particularly in this time of great economic uncertainty.”
Luetkemeyer attached an amendment to another tax bill he sponsored. That bill gives property owners more time to appeal increases in their property assessments and requires county assessors to do a physical inspection of any property subject to more than a 15% increase in assessment.
The bill is now on the governor’s desk.
Luetkemeyer wasn’t all that surprised his legislation passed the Senate unanimously and received only token opposition in the House.
“I think this was one of those unifying things that in the midst of the pandemic with everybody struggling the legislature, regardless of what party you were from, realized that was something that we needed to do for hardworking Missourians and, again, I’m very pleased that we were able to get it done,” according to Luetkemeyer.
Congress approved an emergency legislative package which totaled more than $2.2 trillion to help prop up an economy hit hard by restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. In that package, Congress authorized individuals making $75,000 or less annually to receive $1,200. Couples making $150,000 or less will receive $2,400, plus $500 for each dependent child.
Luetkemeyer also is working to get his anti-crime package through in the waning days of the session, arguing Missouri needs to address its violent crime problem.
“Those are things right now that are still very much alive, both in the House and the Senate. I’m going to be very focused on trying to get those things across the finish line, but, as you know, the last week of session is very unpredictable and there is a very finite amount of time that we have to get some of those priorities across the finish line and many ideas, including many good ideas, will not end up making it to the governor’s desk,” Luetkemeyer says.
Luetkemeyer says Senate and House negotiators have hung up on a provision which would require DNA tests for those arrested on felony charges. The Senate wants it. The House doesn’t. Luetkemeyer worries the dispute could sink the bill.