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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Legislation passed by the Missouri House would give social workers more time to complete investigations into child abuse and neglect.
 
Current law stipulates that those investigations must be completed within 30 days. But the measure passed Thursday would allow the Department of Social Services to take up to 30 business days before submitting a report.
 
Sponsoring Rep. Bill Lant, a Pineville Republican, says these serious investigations shouldn't be rushed. He added that the current timetable puts a strain on department staff.
 
The House voted 151-1 to send the measure to the Senate.

Missouri tax break could be on horizon

Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:49 Published in Local News
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.
 

Fenton business owner indicted for fraud

Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:38 Published in Local News
 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.
 

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