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02 March 2010

Ruestman: Legislative Update

A brief update on my legislation:

House Bill 1350 – Property Tax Reform

I mentioned this bill in last week's report.  This changes the method that property value is assessed for tax purposes.  It is meant to save taxpayers from exorbitant future increases.  As of last week it had not been referred.  There has been no change to the status of this bill.  The Speaker has yet to assign it to a committee.

House Bill 1351 – Firefighters' Tax Credit

This bill offers a small tax credit to volunteer firefighters who maintain a certain level of training each year.  Nearly 70% of firefighters in Missouri serve in a volunteer capacity.  It is difficult to pass any tax cut or credit during this revenue crunch.  I believe now is the time to be helping Missouri families, especially those who sacrifice for the safety of us all.  HB 1351 was referred to the Committee on Public Safety last week.

House Bill 1864 - Farmers' Market Sales Tax Exemption

I am writing this report on Monday and tomorrow morning we will be hearing this bill in the Committee on Agri-Business.  We're very excited about exempting the many farmers' markets from having to collect state or local sales taxes.  This will benefit our farmers and local communities greatly.  It can also help seniors and low-income families who are struggling to buy groceries.

House Bill 1960 – School Construction Act

Today, the House Committee on Workplace Development and Workplace Safety heard HB 1960 regarding significant savings in school construction, remodeling and maintenance.  It allows school districts in non-charter counties to opt out of the unfunded prevailing wage mandate.  The savings to school districts and TAXPAYERS would be substantial.  On a typical project the cost-reduction is in the neighborhood of 15-25%.  This is money that stays in the taxpayers' pockets.

If you have problems, questions or wish to express concern over an issue, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Legislator Assistant, Jonathan, at my Capitol office either by phone 573-751-9801 or by e-mail at Marilyn{dot}Ruestman{at}house{dot}mo{dot}gov.

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