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Missouri auditor calls for more tracking of tax breaks

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Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says the state doesn’t do a good job of tracking the effect of tax breaks.

A Wednesday audit report says legislative estimates of the financial costs and benefits of proposed tax exemptions are sometimes inaccurate. Galloway added that after lawmakers pass new tax exemptions, the state rarely monitors the actual fiscal impact.

The auditor says consequently, there’s no system to check if taxpayers are getting economic benefits promised from tax breaks.

The Department of Revenue in a response included in the audit says it’s a good goal to track and report exemptions. But the agency says data would likely be flawed because of business reporting errors, and it would require a substantial increase in state employees that’s not affordable right now.