Thursday, June 26, 2014

No. 000034 Tea Party Jealously is no way to run a ship, Representative Shawn Rhoads

Having gained Representative Rhoads attention (he replied once or twice on Twitter), this seemed as good a time as any to take a look into his Tea Party politics. 

Representative Rhoads has a website on which he identifies the most important issue in West Plains, Missouri as being the Second Amendment (it comes first).

He does mention education, second, and writes, “I will work hard to fund education and promote the success of our children.”

There are six school districts in his district, all highly dependent on the Foundation Formula. In fact, Representative Rhoads has been a school board member of the West Plains R-7 School District. All these school districts have repeatedly urged Representative Rhoads not to vote for tax cuts for the foundation formula is not fully funded.

Of course we know the rest of the story. Representative Rhoads voted for the tax cuts in SB509 this Spring.

Now, I have a hard question for Representative Rhoads. Does he know that any economist, like myself, can show that his vote could not possibly do any good for Howell County---there are not enough wealthy people in Howell to benefit from the business tax cuts in SB509 but that the business tax cuts will benefit our wealthy in Saint Louis a great deal. 

To be more specific, before he voted for SB509 did he attempt to make any calculation whether the business tax cuts would actually help Howell County.

Here is one of many interactive maps that explain this hard truth. You will see that the average taxes paid in Saint Louis County is $11,272 (U.S. Income) and in Howell County $2,785 (U.S. Taxes), so a tax cut is worth four time as much to a business in St. Louis than in Howell County, on average.

If SB509 cuts the taxes of each by $10,000, that would only be $1,000,000 dollars. There is one local bank with deposits of more than $250 million so, even if all that $1 million was invested it would be meaningless in comparison to the capital available for investments from local banks.

But that $1,000,000 would pay the Tuition and Fees for 35 students for a year at MSU, West Plains.

And, since Saint Louis County mostly self-funds by tax cuts, such means that our schools won't be hurt by the coming future cuts but that school funding for his six school districts will be cut, even beyond the 8% in real cuts he has already handed out.

Representative Rhoads we look forward to you explaining your votes for tax cuts for St. Louis and cuts in education in West Plains and Howell County.