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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has passed legislation that could lower the tax bill for many Missourians by linking the state's tax brackets to inflation.
A bill approved on a 146-4 vote would require Missouri's individual income tax brackets to be adjusted annually for inflation starting in 2015. Legislative staff estimate that would reduce state tax revenues by $26 million when fully in effect.
Although state tax rates have changed over time, Missouri's top income tax bracket has been set at $9,000 since 1931. That means all income over that amount currently is taxed at the same 6 percent rate.
The tax-bracket legislation now goes to the Senate. It's one of several measures lawmakers are considering this year that would reduce state income taxes.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The owner of a Fenton payroll services company has been indicted on felony mail fraud and money laundering charges involving his clients' unpaid taxes.
Bradley Ferguson of Paymaster Business Solutions is accused of withdrawing money from his business clients' banks accounts since 2005 to pay federal, state and local taxes, but not paying those debts.
He then withdrew more than $2.7 million from client accounts over the last six months of 2013 in an attempt to cover the tax payments after IRS inquiries.
The Washington, Mo. resident was indicted Wednesday in federal court in St. Louis. He is also accused of shredding client records. He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and fines up to $250,000, as well as possible restitution payments.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - The legal interpretation of a three-letter word could sink the results of countless alcohol breath tests in drunken driving cases across Missouri.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that several St. Charles County defense lawyers have successfully challenged blood-alcohol level test results over a linguistic error that remained in state regulations for 14 months before it was fixed in late January.
State Department of Health and Senior regulations say the machines must be periodically tested at one of three blood-alcohol levels: 0.10 percent, 0.08 percent or 0.04 percent.
Before the fix, the rules included the word "and" rather than "or." Some defense attorneys successfully argued that police had to conduct tests at each of those three levels.
The legal limit for blood-alcohol levels for Missouri drivers is 0.08 percent.