In advance of the State of the State address on Wednesday evening, the Missouri Budget Project has gathered some data to provide a context for the fiscal year 2017 budget proposal.
As shown in our Invest in Missouri series, Missouri’s investments in its greatest resource – its people – have deteriorated, resulting in potential educational gaps for a generation of children and decreased health and well-being of Missourians.
Our State’s Ability to Invest in the Future Has Become Limited by Our Revenue Structure
Our state’s ability to invest in the future has been compromised by both the recent economic recession and decades of policy decisions that prioritized tax cuts over ensuring we have the resources need to educate our children and keep our communities healthy.
- When adjusted for inflation, our state now has fewer general revenue resources to invest in the well-being of our citizens than we did in 2008.
- Between 1993 and 2013, lawmakers approved 20 different special interest tax cuts and expanded tax credits, which combined cost more than $1 billion per year.
- State general revenue as a portion of the economy (as measured by personal income) is near record lows, and is lower than our surrounding states. This metric shows that as a portion of the state’s economy, the amount of revenue Missouri has to invest is lower today than it was in 1980.
- So while state revenue is recovering from the Great recession, our ability to contribute to our future is near record lows relative to the size of the economy.
When voters passed the Hancock amendment in 1980, they expected that while their taxes would be limited, the state would continue critical investments in the underlying foundation of the economy, like education, health care, and infrastructure, up to that Hancock lid. But now Missouri general revenue is about $4 billion below the level outlined in the Hancock amendment. And our ability to build a better future for our children has been devastated.