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Missouri House committee to review bingo tax and private pension deductions

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(The Center Square) – A Missouri House committee will hold hearings Tuesday on changing the income tax deductions for private pensions and repealing a tax on bingo cards.

The Ways and Means committee, led by Rep. Mike McGirl, also will vote on a bill to change the tax credit for contributions to child advocacy organizations.

House Bill 2657, sponsored by McGirl, R-Potosi, would increase an individual’s income tax adjustments on private pensions. McGirl sponsored a similar bill last year and it was approved 148-1 by the House. The Senate’s Economic Development and Tax Policy committee voted to approve the bill in late April, but it didn’t advance after that.

This year’s legislation would increase the maximum amount to be subtracted from a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income. If passed by both chambers and signed by Republican Gov. Mike Parson, it would take effect for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2025. It would increase the first amount of any retirement allowance from a private source from $6,000 to $12,000. The categories and amounts are:

-Single, head of household increases from $25,000 to $50,000;

-Married filing combined increases from $32,000 to $64,000;

-Married filing separate increases from $16,000 to $32,600.

House Bill 1427, also sponsored by McGirl, would repeal a tax imposed on each organization conducting bingo games with annual awards of at least $5,000 and more than $100 in a single day. The bill also would repeal a 2% tax on the gross receipts of retail sales paid on each pull tab card sold in the state.

McGirl also sponsored a similar bill last year. It was overwhelmingly approved by the Special Committee on Tax Reform and the Administrative Oversight committee, but it didn’t get debated on the House floor.

The committee will vote on House Bill 1973, which would increase a tax credit for those who donate to Court Appointed Special Advocates, child advocacy centers or crisis care centers. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Alex Riley, R-Springfield, would increase the amount claimed from 50% to 70% beginning on Jan. 1, 2024.

Current law limits the amount of tax credits claimed for the contributions to the agencies to $1.5 million. If passed and signed by the governor, the amount of tax credits claimed for contributions would increase to $2.5 million in a fiscal year for the agencies and begin on July 1. The bill would sunset on Dec. 31, 2030.

“Almost our entire budget of $1.2 million is locally donated by individuals who could benefit from the tax credit,” Laura Farmer, executive director of CASA of Southwest Missouri, said in written testimony to the committee during a hearing earlier this month. “The increase … would allow our organization to continue to remain competitive for local donations from individuals who want to support victim serving programs. Increasing the cap to at least $2.5 million or more would also assist our communication with donors to allow them more confidence in the stability of the credit. Currently, many of our local donors do not file the claim due to the uncertainty of the credit due to the low cap.”

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