If you didn’t pay attention to the graphic accompanying this blog post, you should. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you…

The graphic is a little dated when it comes to the state budget, which is approximately  $23 billion today. However, it certainly represents the fact the opponents of the Missouri Taxpayer Relief Act love spending other people’s money. In fact, they enjoy that activity so much that they will go to nearly any length to make certain nothing upsets their apple cart. Among their favorite methods? Distorting the facts regarding the proposed tax reform!

Perhaps the proponents of the Missouri Taxpayer Relief Act should be pleased. After all, if the supporters of big-government spending programs and taking dollars directly out of our paychecks didn’t think that this proposal was a threat to life as they know it (i.e., soliciting and receiving bigger government dole-outs for their special interest causes), they wouldn’t be working so hard to create clever distortions of the truth.

Last week I pointed out just one of the deceptive approaches they are using to confuse people. In Tax Reform Opponents Use Deceptive Tactics to Scare and Confuse, I point out that they attempt to confuse people about how many versions of the petition are ready for signature collection. Even though on one day their spokesperson tweeted about an article that clearly says there are only two versions available, the very next day he posed the disingenuous question: Which of the 13 versions will be chosen? Either the opposition truly can’t get its act together, or it is purposely misleading the public.

Then, in Gone With the Wind and the Missouri Broadcasters Association, I point out the fact that the opponents are willing to tell outright lies about the measure. The opponents claim health care and prescription drugs will be taxed – they won’t. But, of course, the opposition refuses to let the truth get in the way of a good political campaign based on falsehoods and distortions!

It’s Easy to Create Fear But Not so Easy to Tell Truth for Some strongly refutes the opponents’ false “to be replaced” revenue number and highlights the fact they ignore the expanded base created by the tax reform proposal.  Still, they labor on, hoping citizens of Missouri don’t do the research for themselves.

Finally, Burnham’s Law – Missouri Association of REALTORS® exposes a number of myths promulgated by the Missouri Associations of Realtors, who are the prime backers of Missourians for Fair Taxation. This is another group that hopes you will only read their name and not truly understand their false attacks on the measure.

One of the latest falsehoods the opponents are telling is that food will be taxed at 10% under the plan. This one is unusual, as the opponents ordinarily will at least take some tiny bit of truth and stretch it out of proportion.  In this case, just as with the healthcare issue, they lie.

Section 1(3) (1) of both petitions specifically limit the state sales tax on food to 5.5%. The opponents will say, “But wait, there is also a sales tax on the local level, sometimes approaching 5%, which would make the sales tax on food 10%!” I want to thank the opponents for giving us the opportunity to refute yet another falsehood!

The fact is that section 1(i) of both petitions requires that all local government rates be recalculated for the expanded base.  It protects these entities from losing money but it also prevents them from gaining a windfall. The opponents ignore this part of the provision because they don’t like it.

So what does that mean for the sales tax on food? Projections for the recalculation of local taxes indicate that the statewide increase on food will be around 3 1/2 cents on every dollar. I hate to burst the opponents’ bubble, but nowhere in the state will the sales tax on food be 10%.

We will continue to expose the falsehoods and distortions of the Missouri Taxpayer Relief Act.  Unlike the opponents, I feel obliged to tell the truth about the measure!