Melton "Mel" Hancock
Inducted - Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Where is Melton "Mel" Hancock in the Hall of Famous Missourians?
Born and raised in Southwest Missouri, Hancock was a four-term Congressman for the 7th Congressional District who was respected for his commitment to lowering taxes and limiting the amount government can collect and spend. Prior to his time in office, Hancock served in the United States Air Force and was a successful businessman.
In 1977 Hancock founded the Taxpayer Survival Association, which was created to educate the public on the merits of constitutional tax limitations. Hancock’s efforts to protect Missouri taxpayers culminated in a statewide ballot initiative designed to limit the amount of revenue raised by the state and to empower voters to have the final say on whether they should pay higher taxes. Known as the Hancock Amendment, the change to the Missouri Constitution was approved in 1980 and remains in effect today. It was one of the first state tax limitation amendments passed in the United States and remains relevant today.
In the mid-1990’s Missouri refunded nearly a billion dollars to taxpayers after a Supreme Court ruling that the state had exceeded the limits of the Hancock Amendment. Today, the Hancock Amendment continues to be a hedge against new tax increases considered by the General Assembly, its members knowing that any significant tax increase must win voter adoption.