For more than a decade, Missouri has suffered economically. Formerly a state of middling economic fortunes, Missouri now sits firmly in the bottom tier of growth nationally. From 1997 to 2011, Missouri was ranked 48th out of 50 states in real state gross domestic product (GDP) growth and 46th in total employment growth.
Missouri is losing the development game, but what can policymakers and taxpayers do to change the prosperity equation? There are many possible avenues to revitalize the state’s economic growth prospects. In order to start a healthy dialogue about how to improve Missouri’s economic performance, policymakers should draft and discuss proposals that would restructure Missouri’s tax code and make the tax code more pro-growth. If the state does not make substantive reforms, Missouri will likely continue to underperform relative to its neighbors and the country for the foreseeable future. One pro-growth proposal to consider would be the elimination of the state’s corporate income tax (CIT).