See: House 3rd Reading rollcall on tax proposal.
JEFFERSON CITY _ Democrats and Republicans are taking credit for a tax limitation proposal that the House approved Wednesday (March 8) with little debate.
"For the last two months I have felt like I am not a member of the House because I have spent so much time on this issue," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Ken Jacob, D-Columbia. "We debated until we all compromised."
But House Minority Leader Mark Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said the final version of the proposed constitutional amendment was the Republican version except for the dollar amount that would require voter approval.
"I wanted the cap to be $25 to $30 million not 50," Richardson said, referring to the $50 million limit the proposal would allow the legislature to approve without voter approval. Jacob had wanted the limit to be $60 million.
"It was a great work of compromise and I commend Rep. Jacob and the governor," Richardson said. "They came to our point of view."
But Governor Mel Carnahan's Chief of Staff, Mark Farinella, said the governor's original plan and the final version were "very similar. "Our bill is intact with more language to make things clear," Farinella said. "I'm happy it got wide bipartisan support."
Richardson had a different version of how the proposal got to the House floor. "The governor's version of this bill was too loose and too ambiguous," Richardson said of the discussions required to finally get the measure to the House floor. "There was a provision to define total state revenue. We inserted the total amount so we don't have to define it and it is understandable," Richardson said.
Jacob agreed that one strength of the proposed amendment to the state's constitution is its simplicity and detail.
"I think (the Republicans) appreciated being involved in the process," he said. "We all learned. There is public policy and then there is detail. This one is about detail."
The version perfected by the House requires voter approval on any tax increase over $50 million or one and one-fourth percent of total state revenues, whichever is less. Annual adjustments will reflect the growth of personal income of Missourians.
The proposal faces one more vote in the House before going to the Senate. If it clears the legislature, the measure would require statewide voter approval to become part of the state's constitution.