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Fitzpatrick talks budget, taxes in Columbia

State rep Scott Fitzpatrick came to Columbia to talk about next year’s budget situation. Fitzpatrick says figuring out the right levels for state taxes will be a balancing act.

“There’s a place where that tax rate is too high and people won’t want to come there,” Fitzpatrick said. “And then there’s a place where the tax rate is so low that you may get plenty of economic activity but your rates and tax structure isn’t adequate to fund the government.”

Fitzpatrick says forecasting the state’s budget situation is harder than normal, since we don’t know what federal tax reform will happen.

“It throws a bit of uncertainty in the process that I have not experienced as of yet in my time in the legislature,” Fitzpatrick said. “Especially in the two years when I’ve been involved in the consensus revenue estimate process.”

He also says that makes it difficult to figure out how much state money Mizzou will receive.

“As a state legislature we need to realize the University of Missouri is one of, if not the greatest, assets the state has in a lot of ways,” Fitzpatrick said. “And that we need to make sure it’s set up to succeed.”

Fitzpatrick spoke at a Columbia Chamber of Commerce event in Daniel Boone Regional Library on Tuesday.

(This story was last updated at 5:18 a.m. Wednesday.)

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