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      Governor Nixon campaigns against tax breaks

      City and county leaders from across Mid-Missouri met at the Boone County Government Center to hear Governor Nixon give a possible gloomy economic forecast.

      Governor Jay Nixon visited Columbia to discuss the impact of special tax breaks and exemptions.

      Missouri lawmakers passed the tax breaks in the final hours of the legislative session.

      The Governor vetoed them last week.

      City and county leaders from across Mid-Missouri met at the Boone County Government Center to hear Governor Nixon give a possible gloomy economic forecast. The Governor said his veto of special tax breaks must stand or sales tax collections would go down by millions of dollars. Boone County leaders said their dedicated sales tax for 9-1-1 and emergency management services would be in jeopardy, among others.

      Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill said, ??Children services, law enforcement, the court system, public administrators, everybody here that works for the county has some connection to a sales tax.??

      Governor Nixon predicts Boone County would lose about $4.5 million a year and the City of Columbia about $5 million in annual sales tax cuts under the special tax breaks. Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said the loss would force him to make major cuts in his department.

      Burton said, ??With that much of my budget dedicated to personnel, I??d have no choice but to make layoffs. That??s the most frightening part to me, especially when I??ve been trying to grow the department over the past 5 years.??

      If the tax break bills were to become law, the Governor projects the state would lose up to $425 million. He said local governments would lose about $350 million a year. The sales tax exemptions would apply to several businesses including fast food restaurants and commercial laundries.

      KRCG 13 News contacted several businesses that would benefit from the special tax breaks. No one had any comment. If the Governor Nixon??s vetoes are overturned, Mid-Missouri city and county leaders said they would face serious problems providing services to their citizens.

      Missouri lawmakers can override the Governor??s vetoes during a session in September.

      Vetoes need a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate.