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(Jefferson City) (AP) – Kansas remains the reference point as Missouri lawmakers consider whether to cut income taxes and raise the state sales tax.

During a House committee hearing Tuesday, business groups argued Missouri must cut income taxes to keep employers from being lured across the western border by recent tax cuts in Kansas.

But education officials pointed to budget gaps in Kansas and expressed fears that schools could lose funding if Missouri cuts its tax revenues.

The hearing came as a St. Louis-based nonprofit group called The Missouri Budget Project began airing ads opposing the legislation while citing the potential loss of $960 million of revenues annually.

Sponsoring Sen. Will Kraus, a Republican from Lee’s Summit, called the ads “misleading” and “distasteful.” He cites estimates putting the lost revenues at half that amount.

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