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Mo. hears arguments on tax ballot measures

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A former deputy Missouri auditor has testified that cost estimates for tax initiatives proposed for this year's ballot are insufficient.

Chuck Pierce testified Thursday in Cole County court about proposed constitutional amendments that would phase out Missouri's income tax and implement a broader sales tax. Testimony focused on financial estimates, including a statement that would appear on the ballot saying the initiatives could boost state revenue by $300 million or cost $1.5 billion.

Pierce says the overall effect on state revenue cannot be predicted. He suggests stating the initiatives would eliminate $7.5 billion in revenue and allow future legislative action to set tax rates.

An official in the auditor's office responsible for the estimate says that suggested phrasing could sound biased.

Multiple versions of the tax measures have been proposed.