The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4) expresses deep concern over HB 253 – a bill that would cut some corporate and income taxes, but would increase sales taxes and create a funding gap for many programs that benefit seniors in Missouri. In May, the Missouri Legislature passed HB 253 to create corporate tax cuts intended to spur economic development. In June, Governor Nixon vetoed that bill citing negative impacts on education and senior services, and proposed withholding a percentage of funds appropriated by the Legislature to make up for differences between the Legislature’s budget and his constitutional requirement to balance the state budget. On September 11, the Missouri Legislature will consider an override of Governor Nixon’s veto of HB 253 during the annual veto session. MA4 believes the Governor’s veto should be upheld. When fully implemented, HB 253 will cost Missouri at least $800 million annually. Specific program cuts stemming from this budget hole could affect senior-based programs dealing with nursing homes, in-home care and meals on wheels. HB 253 also activates a new sales tax on prescription drugs – a tax that will have a direct negative impact on the senior population who rely more heavily on prescription medications than any other age group.
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