Shaping Policies. Creating Opportunities.

Building a Prosperous Missouri & A Strong Middle Class: A Policy Framework

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Missourians work hard every day to provide a better life for their families. In small towns, suburban neighborhoods, and urban centers across the state, many families are struggling to make ends meet. Some are rushing to get kids to school before their shift starts, others are quietly taking care of an elderly parent who can’t get around too well anymore.

But every day they put one foot in front of the other, investing their time and energy in their families, their jobs, and their communities. And though metrics of the economy are improving, many Missourians don’t feel it.

Decades ago, our parents and grandparents decided to make investments in the generations to come. They built roads and bridges and invested in education systems that have educated millions of Missourians.

But these investments have faltered in recent years as the state tried cutting its way to prosperity, approving dozens of tax cuts that made it impossible to invest in the things that help families, communities and our economy thrive.

Missouri families struggling to pay the bills know these failed strategies aren’t working. Economic growth depends on people. Businesses look for an educated and skilled workforce with the spending power to fuel our economy. But our middle class is struggling, and we’ve disinvested from the very human capital and transportation infrastructure needed to build a strong economy.

We can forge a new path in 2017 – one that makes the investments we need to build a stronger tomorrow and modernizes outdated tax policies that work against working families. One that builds the middle class and a vital economy by giving families the tools they need to succeed.

Build a Strong Economy through Human Capital Investments

A strong commitment to human capital and developing our workforce benefits families and communities and builds strong economies – to the benefit of us all. To strengthen the middle class and attract quality jobs that allow working families to make ends meet, Missouri must invest in its people. Quality public schools, a strong public health system, access to health and child care, and workforce training and development give Missourians the tools they need to succeed and create a vibrant economy that can keep and attract quality jobs.

Bolster the Middle Class with a State Earned Income Tax Credit

A state earned income tax credit would build the middle class and boost local economies by providing a bottom-up tax cut to low and moderate income working families.

Strengthen Missouri’s Transportation Infrastructure

Missouri faces serious and increasing infrastructure needs that jeopardize Missourians’ safety and economic growth. Investing in high priority transportation projects would create jobs, improve state economic conditions, and reduce road fatalities and serious injuries due to traffic accidents

Level the Playing Field for Missouri’s Bricks and Mortar Businesses

Missouri’s bricks and mortar shops are at a competitive disadvantage to out-of-state online businesses. Updating the collections mechanism for sales taxes owed on remote sales would level the playing field for local businesses that invest in their communities.

Reduce Outdated Tax Giveaways

Reducing outdated “vendor discounts” in our tax code by bringing them in line with other states would strengthen our state’s economic competitiveness.

Roll Back the Cost of the 2014 Tax Cuts

States that passed similar ill-designed tax cuts for special interests are facing cuts to education and other critical public services and drops in their credit rankings.

Evaluate and Improve Tax Credits 

Tax credits can be powerful tools to promote economic growth and provide other public policy benefits. However, their impact requires careful design. Tax credit programs should be carefully evaluated to increase efficiency and lower cost, while protecting the policy intent of the programs.

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