Result: The owners of a pass-through corporation eventually would be paying a Missouri income tax rate of 3.25 percent on their income; in some cases, the rate would be as low as 3.125 percent. The people who clean the office toilets will be paying 5.5 percent.
Even as the Legislature is bending over backward to give a break to pass-through companies, Congress has begun to realize that such firms have an unfair advantage over C-corporations that have to pay the 35 percent federal rate. With tax shelters, credits and other forms of legal tax evasion, few companies actually pay as much as the 35 percent rate, but it’s the thought that counts.
Pass-through owners argue that taxing their corporate income, and then turning around and taxing their personal income, amounts to double taxation. It does. That’s fair.
Corporations create multiple public costs that the individual taxes of their owners don’t begin to pay for. Like the rest of us, they’re protected by the most expensive military on earth. Their employees are educated in public schools. Their goods are shipped on public highways. Laws are enforced for them. Nearly all of the state and federal civil court systems exist to litigate their disputes. It goes on.
It simply makes no sense that they get a free (or cheaper) ride on income taxes. In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people when it comes to funding elections. They ought to be people when it comes to paying taxes, too.
Supporters claim the legislation will serve as a shield to protect workers’ paychecks from being pilfered for political activities they don’t agree with and will preserve their First Amendment rights.
“If you support the First Amendment, you should support this bill,” said Rep. Rick Brattin, R- Harrisonville.
But opponents claim the move is unnecessary and will affect how unions participate in the political process. They say the real intent is a calculated hit to organized labor.
“Instead of a job creation agenda, which they should have, they have an anti-worker agenda,” said Mike Louis, secretary treasurer of Missouri AFL-CIO.
Nixon, a Democrat, could veto the bill, but he hasn’t yet made his intentions public.
The measure passed the Republican-controlled House in an 85-69 vote — well below the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.
In its original form, the legislation would have blocked public employee labor unions from automatically deducting fees from employees’ paychecks — even if workers gave their permission. But after an eight-hour filibuster on the paycheck deduction legislation in March, the GOP-controlled Senate passed a version that scaled back the proposal to requiring yearly consent
The bill includes an exemption for first responders such as firefighters and paramedics. It covers all public employee unions, including some state workers and local and regional government employees — among them the 35,000 members of the Missouri National Education Association.
House members defended the proposal on the floor Monday.
“It confirmed, unanimously, that any product that’s capable of being replicated, either by planting by seed, or a bacterial cell line, or a preparation of DNA — that patent law applies, even if a product is replicable, in the same way it applies to widgets or cellphones,” said Hans Sauer, deputy general counsel for BIO, the biotechnology industry’s trade group. “If you want two, you have to buy two.”
Monsanto’s near-ubiquitous soybean technology allows plants to survive application of the herbicide glyphosate, which is sold under the Monsanto brand Roundup. Bowman, like the majority of American soybean growers, bought the soybeans every year from a dealer, thereby entering into a contract with Monsanto saying he agreed not to plant the offspring of those soybeans.
But Bowman, wanting to plant a second, late-season crop — a riskier crop — decided to try a cheaper route: He bought soybeans from a local grain elevator and planted those.
The soybeans sold at the grain elevator are only allowed to be sold for animal feed or food — not for replanting — and don’t require the purchaser to enter into an agreement. But Bowman planted them, then sprayed glyphosate. The plants that survived, he knew, were glyphosate-resistant, or Roundup Ready. In other words, they contained Monsanto’s patented genetically engineered traits. Bowman took those seeds and planted them the next year — and for the subsequent seven years.