Letter to the Editor

Eliminate tax credits, subsidies

To the editor:In July Gov. Matt Blunt vetoed House Bill 327, an economic development bill that passed overwhelmingly in the House with nine representatives voting no, including myself. The bill had problems, and the governor made the right decision to veto it, stopping it from becoming law.

The governor has called a special legislative session to begin Monday for the purpose of passing a new version of the bill immediately instead of waiting until next year's regular session.

HB 327 was an economic development bill that would have benefited only a select few. We need to make Missouri business-friendly for all businesses, not just favored industries. When legislators pick and choose which businesses get tax credits or subsidies, the process becomes politicized. They will be influenced by personal interest and political contributors. Government should not be the one to decide what businesses get subsidies and tax credits, thus putting competing businesses at a disadvantage.

We need to be fair and equalize the playing field for all businesses. The free market of supply and demand -- not government -- should dictate which businesses succeed. If entrepreneurs felt Missouri was business-friendly, then they would be more apt to operate in Missouri. Passing any form of HB 327 is the wrong way to encourage economic opportunities. Not giving tax credits and subsidies would allow us to lower taxes that would keep and attract all types of businesses.

BELINDA HARRIS, State Representative, District 110, Hillsboro, Mo.