Last year, the federal government passed the CARES Act as a reaction to the Covid outbreak.  One component of the CARES Act was to mail out checks to millions of Americans to try to make up for a loss of income and spur spending that might help businesses.  These payments have been referred to as “stimulus checks”.

Since it did not make a lot of sense for the federal government to give citizens money as a gift, and then turn around and take it away in income taxes, the feds made the stimulus checks non-taxable.  In fact, the checks were treated as a tax credit toward your next year’s income taxes.

Missouri’s state law is a bit complicated in this area, and would have imposed state income tax on the stimulus checks.  So last year we passed a special state law making stimulus checks non-taxable on your state income tax as well.  But that law was only for the CARES Act stimulus checks.  Since then, the feds have sent out two more rounds of stimulus checks.  In response, House Budget Chair Rep. Cody Smith has filed HB 991, which would make those stimulus checks non-taxable as well, allowing citizens to reap their full benefit.

I first heard this bill while serving on the Ways & Means Committee, which deals with tax policy.  I spoke in favor of HB 991 on the House floor when it came before the full House, helping to convince fellow legislators to vote for the bill and save constituents some money.  HB 991 received a successful first round vote (called the Perfection vote).  Next week, we will give it a second vote (called the Third Read vote).  If that is successful, the bill will move to the Senate to be considered there.

Until next time, health, happiness and prosperity to you and your family.