Sometimes I feel like I am Jimmy Stewart in the movie “Rear Window.” I am stuck watching my neighbors do all these things (some good, such as Kansas; some not so good, such as Illinois) while I cannot move or go anywhere. (Unfortunately, I have to sit and watch without Grace Kelly to keep me company.) I mention this not only because I love Alfred Hitchcock movies, but because as a Missourian, that is how I feel regarding tax reform.
I have blogged ad nauseam about the tax cuts in Kansas and how Missouri needs to respond, but just as in “Rear Window,” there is more going on than just in the one apartment building. Nebraska likely will cut taxes and the governor of Oklahoma will pursue some sort of tax cut. Last month, Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform released its final report on recommendations they believe the state should undertake to reform the state’s tax code. For a good breakdown of the commission’s proposals, see here.
This is not the first time I have blogged about the Kentucky Commission. I know, this is the Show-Me State, and it is understandable to want to see how these reforms impact other states and not react to “maybes.” But Kansas is not a “maybe,” it is very, very real. So I once again stress the point that inaction on the tax front is not an option for Missouri. We need to become more competitive. Now, to be fair, legislators are juggling various proposals in order to reform the state’s tax code, but the gap between what legislators want to do and what actually gets done is about as wide as the Grand Canyon.
It is not too late for Missouri to remain competitive with its neighbors. However, if Missouri continues to twiddle its thumbs while our bordering states make themselves more attractive from an economic standpoint, I will start to feel worse than the killer’s victim and late wife in “Rear Window,” Mrs. Thorwald.