Economic development bill passes, more tax credit action in Mo. House
Updated 5:14 p.m.
The Missouri House has passed its version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill.
It does not place expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low income housing tax credits, as demanded by the Senate. Instead, House GOP leaders hope to mollify the Senate with a new proposal: All tax credit programs would come up for review every four years and be subject to a renewal vote by the General Assembly. The measure is sponsored by House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).
“What we want to do is provide this oversight function, but provide it in a way that requires an up-or-down vote, so you see what a majority of the chambers feel, not what one or two senators happen to think," Silvey said. "Just like it takes a constitutional majority to create a program, we think it should take a constitutional majority to kill one.”
Meanwhile, Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says he hasn’t had a chance to review the proposal. He expressed disappointment that sunsets for historic preservation and low income housing tax credits were not restored.
The House also made a few changes to its version of the tax credit bill before passing it today. They include reducing corporate income taxes from 6 1/2 to 5 1/2 percent, and removing the 5-year restriction on recovering interest costs for the use of Distressed Land Assemblage tax credits. House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says the change would also allow Land Assemblage credits to be used for a redevelopment project in Kansas City, instead of being solely used for St. Louis developer Paul McKee's north side project.
“If no one else is qualified for it, (McKee) will be the only one that will be eligible to receive up to the $95 million cap," Tilley said. "By bringing other people into it, it actually reduces his ability to garner those tax credits.”
The House also added a sales tax holiday for American-made products to the bill. An amendment that would have authorized a statewide vote on a second nuclear reactor in Callaway was ruled out of order.
Mo. House approves tax cut for businesses
Missouri's Republican-led House has approved an across-the-board tax cut for businesses.
The House voted 95-51 Thursday along largely partisan lines to lower the state's corporate income tax to 5.5 percent in January, instead of the current 6.25 percent.
The measure was attached as an amendment to a wide-ranging economic development bill that also would create new tax incentives for specific categories of businesses, including computer data centers and international exporters at the St. Louis airport.
Republican Rep. Andrew Koenig, of Winchester, said the tax cut would reduce state revenues by about $50 million annually. He said his amendment would provide a boost to all businesses.
Democrats opposed the measure. They said it would take money that could go to public school districts, colleges and universities.
Mo. House rejects expiration of historic preservation, low-income housing tax credits
The Missouri House has overwhelmingly rejected an attempt to end tax credits for the developers of low-income housing and historic buildings.
House members defeated an amendment Thursday to an economic development bill that would have placed a July 2018 expiration date on the two programs. Instead, they adopted an amendment allowing lawmakers to consider a measure in 2016 that would prohibit the tax credits.
The tax credits for low-income housing and renovation of historic buildings are two of Missouri's most expensive, costing about $250 million in 2010. They also have been a main source of disagreement during Missouri's special legislative session.
Senate leaders insist the programs must have expiration dates. House leaders said that would make it too easy for a single senator to block the program's renewal in the future.