The Missouri legislators are getting close to the deadline when they have to vote on a final state budget. As they have in the past, it appears that legislators are avoiding sensible proposals to raise taxes on sales via the Internet and are looking for ways to again cut budgets for important state services to our most needy citizens.
The House passed major reductions in benefits for the blind and the Senate cut vital child care subsidies for working moms. Are we really at a stage of significantly reducing benefits for some of our most vulnerable groups in order to pay roads, schools, public safety, parks, tourism, economic development, etc.?
While I readily admit that legislators have a very difficult job of balancing a state budget in these difficult times, surely voters would understand the why Missouri should join most other states in taxing sales via the internet. This would raise significant money and therefore would not require such difficult cuts in services to working moms and the blind.
I have worked in state government and I have the utmost respect for legislators who work hard trying to find ways to balance the state budget. I just hope that in these last days of the session, legislators will once again look at the possibility of increasing revenues by taxing internet sales to keep from having to make very painful and gut wrenching cuts that will adversely affect the lives of thousands of Missourians.
Steve Roling is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each week he blogs about issues that inspire him as we work toward eliminating barriers to quality health.