When thinking of Nebraska, what immediately comes to mind? Some people would say football and some would say corn(husking). Cardinals fans would say it is the birthplace of Bob Gibson. But for policy-focused people such as me, it is an ambitious tax cut proposal.
Recently, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman proposed eliminating Nebraska’s individual and corporate income taxes. He also proposed eliminating $2.4 billion in sales tax exemptions (hat tip: Hot Air). This follows on the heels of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to eliminate Louisiana’s personal and corporate income taxes.
Not all proposals actually become law (case in point: Aerotropolis, thank heaven), but can Missouri really afford to sit back and hope these states, along with Wisconsin and Oklahoma, do not join Kansas in gaining a competitive advantage over us? Last year, my colleague Patrick Ishmael and I released an essay proposing that the state eliminate its corporate income tax. Considering the plethora of states looking at not only axing the corporate income tax, but the personal income tax as well, eliminating the corporate income tax might not be just desirable. It might be necessary.
Missouri is in a border war. It might not have chosen this fight, but it is in it nonetheless. It can respond by doing what it has been doing, issuing development tax credits and hoping for the best, or it can engage in serious reform to help make the state more competitive with its neighbors. The gauntlet(s) has been thrown down, how will Missouri respond?