Political Rewind: Taxpayers to Shell Out $55 Million More for State Pensions

Patch prides itself on local coverage, but Missouri politics can have just as much an effect as local government. Here's an easy guide to what happened this week on the state political scene.

Editor's Note: This article was created by aggregating news articles from Missouri Watchdog.

State’s tax incentives a bit too sweet, auditor says

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s Department of Economic Development and its lucrative tax incentives have led, in part, to a failed industry and a CEO facing criminal charges, state Auditor Thomas Schweich says.

Schweich, in a report released Wednesday, says the DED’s division of Business and Community Services“failed to perform due diligence” on various projects, including the recruitment of Mamtek USA to Moberly.

The company planned to build a sucralose manufacturing plant in the southeast Missouri city, and was promised $17.6 million in tax breaks. Nearly $70 million in bonds were issued for the plant’s construction, but it never opened and Mamtek filed for bankruptcy in January. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener.

The company’s CEO, Bruce Cole, is in an Orange County, Calif., jail awaiting extradition to Missouri to face four felony fraud charges. plus another felony charging him with taking $700,000 from Moberly’s bond funds.

In a written response, the DED said that no tax incentives were awarded to Mamtek because the company failed to create jobs.

Schweich said Missouri allows developers to stack tax credits without generating additional economic activity to benefit the state.

Missouri Watchdog reported this practice in June, noting that a Ford supplier would benefit from $5 million in tax incentives through four separate state programs to build a plant in Liberty.

Taxpayers will shell out $55 million more for state pensions in 2013

Missouri taxpayers will foot $55 million more next year for state worker pensions.

The governing board of the Missouri State Employment Retirement System, known as MOSERS, has approved a 20 percent increase for the pension program, which funds the retirement benefits for more than 51,000 state workers and 37,000 retirees.

The increase, which takes effect in July, means state residents will pay most of the $330 million for those pensions next year.

The board said the increase was needed because of poor investment returns and longer life expectancies for state workers. Many workers are also delaying retirement, and thus get bigger pensions after working a few extra years.

State Budget Director Linda Luebbering said this increase has been “on our radar screen.”

“That board has been discussing this for a while, and we were aware that the rate would be increasing,” she said.



The Missourian October 04, 2012 at 02:55 PM
A major factor in IQ testing and school performance is the question of nature versus nurture. We're all born with potential. But cultural values play a big part in what we do with it. Go to the bombed out parts of NSL or some of the smaller towns in the Ozarks, and I guarantee you will find lower IQs, because education isn't a priority in the homes. This is a way more complicated topic than a discussion forum allows, but the short answer is that by looking at race alone you are looking at the wrong metric. If you equalized those IQ scores for family composition, accumulated family wealth, poverty ratio in the surrounding community, and proximity to amenities like grocery stores, etc, you'd see race's impact being well within the margin of error of the tests - in other words probably not a factor. It's all about the opportunities we are given as children and the world we come to regard as normal.
Sensible? I think so October 04, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Of course I read the Wikipedia article. You obviously didn't read the entire article. Or try to understand anything beyond what reinforces your bias. "While the existence of racial IQ gaps is well documented and not subject to much dispute, there is no consensus among researchers as to their cause" That is not racist, in spite of what you said. Your original post, which has been removed, said "smarter". That isn't the same as IQ. Did you remove your original post?
Rachel Walker October 04, 2012 at 05:23 PM
"This is a way more complicated topic than a discussion forum allows, but the short answer is that by looking at race alone you are looking at the wrong metric." Thank you, Missourian and Sensible. mike, you're a racist because you're willing to draw simplistic conclusions about two highly complex constructs--race and intelligence--and use them to justify your belief that our differences can determine individual achievement. But oh well, you're not some sort of groundbreaker. People have been using this sort of thinking for ages to rationalize some pretty horrific behavior. At least you're just the harmless racist in the suburbs.
Devon Seddon October 04, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I stand corrected, since RD did some research, that means the Senate did pass a budget. Call it 4 years if you want, but we're not there yet, 1200 days is more accurate than 4 years. So, now you're calling me out for being too accurate? Thanks for cleaning up my mess.
RDBet October 05, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Speaking of state pension. Akin seems to forget disclosing that he receives one. I fully believe Akin is entitled to his pension. Why would he not want to report it? If he's opposed to state pension systems - he could return the money he received. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/akin-failed-to-report-years-of-missouri-state-pension-payments/article_fa34a66a-0e32-11e2-9c66-0019bb30f31a.html


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