Missouri could easily improve its competitiveness returning to its traditional role as a neutral third party.
We have different tax schemes, tax breaks, tax deferments, tax abatements, and tax exemptions. These tend to favor people rich enough to afford lobbyists and to buy politicians. The result is that the rest of us pay higher taxes to cover all this corporate welfare. We also pay higher prices since the companies who actually pay taxes are forced to pay extra to make up for all the companies on welfare; businesses only have one source of earnings: consumers like you and me.
I propose we have a single tax rate for everyone, just one rate. I would prefer to eliminate all income taxes but let's begin with this. A single rate without exemptions of any kind would drastically restrict the State's ability to pick economic winners and to make us losers. I realize this would cause some problems with the public unions and government employees...many would lose their jobs after tax forms shrank to a single page with only a few numbers to calculate. The rest of us would enjoy the benefits of a more robust economy and more cash in our pockets. A few welfare dependent businesses would probably close but their employs will find jobs in other companies that can (now) afford to hire them since that huge tax load has been lifted.
I believe that any exemption in a Law is a signal that the Law is unjust and that the Legislature knew this when they passed the bill. The Governor knew it when it was signed into Law. The State should be neutral: if a Bill or Law is so bad that an exemption is need then the Bill or Law should be thrown in the trash. Nothing is so good for businesses, unions, or individuals that other businesses, unions, or individuals should be exempt from doing it.