ST. LOUIS–Missouri Governor Mike Parson has decided to veto legislation passed in May that would have given individual income tax filers up to a $500 rebate and joint filers up to $1,000.
The $500 million to pay for the tax rebate was part of House bill 20, proposals paid for by the state’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act. The rebate plan was a late priority of House leadership in the waning days of the legislative session in May.
Paron also cut funding for a handful of projects in the St. Louis area that would have been covered by ARPA funds:
$4.5 million for sidewalks in the Affton School District
$3 million for sidewalks in the Hancock Place School District
$3 million for a St. Charles County airport project
$2.8 million for a Dellwood commercial redevelopment project
In a letter explaining the vetoes, Parson said lawmakers authorized the transfer of the tax rebate money to a Tax Credit Offset Fund, but didn't specify how the money should be spent out of the fund. The sidewalk projects were deemed to be of "a local responsibility" without state or regional impact, while the airport proposal was also rejected for the lack of impact, and the fact that other funding is available. The Dellwood project, the letter said, would have run into constitutional questions because it "grants public money to a private person or entity for non-public purposes."
The vetoes came as the Governor signed the bills making up the state's $47.5 billion budget. "We want to thank all of the legislators who helped pass this historic budget that cements our state's strong financial position and provides tremendous opportunities for Missourians, both today and tomorrow," Parson said in a news release. "Informed by the needs of Missourians all across the state, we have once again passed a balanced and conservative budget that benefits every Missourian."
"With record revenues, strong economic performance, and significant sums of Missourians' federal tax dollars returning to our state, this session we met the moment and approved strategic investments that will serve generations of Missourians," he added.
Parson has called a news conference for Friday afternoon “to discuss his actions on remaining legislative items.” Parson signed several bills into law this week, including a voter ID bill, and a bill that establishes standards for hospital visitation in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. A spokeswoman said additional bills will also be signed Friday.