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      Analysis: Missouri tax policy dates back to Depression

      The United States was in the midst of the Great Depression when Missouri legislators set the state's top income tax bracket at $9,000.

      The United States was in the midst of the Great Depression when Missouri legislators set the state's top income tax bracket at $9,000.

      More than 80 years later, Missouri's top tax bracket remains the same.

      Yet a dollar today doesn't carry anywhere near the same buying power that it did in 1931. In fact, Missouri's heftiest income tax rates now hit people living in poverty.

      Some people are pushing for a change.

      A proposed initiative for the 2014 ballot would set two different tax rates. A 3 percent tax would be charged on income below $15,000 for individuals and $30,000 for couples. A 4.9 percent tax would be levied on income above those thresholds.

      Those taxes would be lower than Missouri's current 6 percent rate charged on income above $9,000.