MO Statehouse: Aerotropolis, Joplin relief
1:09 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Senate passes scaled-back Aerotropolis; tax relief for Joplin businesses delayed

Updated 5:32 p.m. with reaction from the Mo. House Speaker

A measure that sharply reduces the amount of tax credits available to support the creation of an international cargo hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is in the hands of the Missouri House.

The State Senate approved the measure this morning.

Overall, the bill is expected to save the state about $1 billion over 15 years by reducing or eliminating tax credits for low-income housing, the renovation of historic buildings, and other business and social service programs. It also creates several new breaks, including for computer data center and amateur sporting events.

The biggest change was the elimination of $300 million in incentives for companies looking to build warehouses near Lambert - funds that supporters of the cargo hub say are crucial to the success of the project. About $60 million in tax credits will still be available for companies that work to arrange exports through Lambert.

House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville)  indicated that his chamber won’t accept the Senate version.

“It wasn’t the deal that we agreed to, but we’re gonna look at all the changes and identify which ones are acceptable and which ones are not and go from there," Tilley said.

Tilley also objects to the Compete Missouri provision, which would place some of the state’s incentives under the oversight of the governor’s Department of Economic Development.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate have taken the rest of the week off and will fully convene again next Wednesday.   

(You can see the full roll-call vote for this issue at the bottom of this post)

Joplin tax relief (updated 3:17 p.m.)

An effort to provide tax relief to businesses destroyed by the deadly Joplin tornado has stalled under opposition in the Missouri Senate.

State Sen. Ron Richard of Joplin said Wednesday that he will not move the bill forward because there is not enough support in the Senate to pass it during this month's special session. Richard's comments to The Associated Press came after a Senate committee declined to bring the bill up for a vote as originally scheduled
Wednesday.

The committee chairman, Sen. Chuck Purgason of Caulfield, said Republican senators are concerned about unintended consequences from rushing into action on disaster aid.

Some senators cited concerns about the effect on school districts and county governments around the state if they waive property taxes for businesses destroyed by natural disasters.

Roll-call vote for Aerotropolis/tax credits / business incentives legislation (via the Associated Press):

The 26-8 roll call by which the Missouri Senate voted Wednesday to pass legislation overhauling Missouri's tax credits and business incentives.
     Voting "yes" were 18 Republicans and 8 Democrats.
     Voting "no" were 8 Republicans and no Democrats.
     
     REPUBLICANS VOTING YES
     Jason Crowell, Cape Girardeau.
     Tom Dempsey, St. Charles.
     Bob Dixon, Springfield.
     Kevin Engler, Farmington.
     Jack Goodman, Mount Vernon.
     Mike Kehoe, Jefferson City.
     Will Kraus, Lee's Summit.
     John Lamping, St. Louis.
     Rob Mayer, Dexter.
     Brian Munzlinger, Williamstown.
     Mike Parson, Bolivar.
     David Pearce, Warrensburg.
     Ron Richard, Joplin.
     Luann Ridgeway, Smithville.
     Scott Rupp, Wentzville.
     Eric Schmitt, Glendale.
     Bill Stouffer, Napton.
     Jay Wasson, Nixa.
     
     DEMOCRATS VOTING YES
     Victor Callahan, Independence.
     Maria Chappelle-Nadal, St. Louis.
     Kiki Curls, Kansas City.
     Tim Green, St. Louis.
     Jolie Justus, Kansas City.
     Joe Keaveny, St. Louis.
     Ryan McKenna, Crystal City.
     Robin Wright-Jones, St. Louis.
     
     REPUBLICANS VOTING NO
     Dan Brown, Rolla.
     Jane Cunningham, Chesterfield.
     Brad Lager, Savannah.
     Jim Lembke, St. Louis.
     Brian Nieves, Washington.
     Chuck Purgason, Caulfield.
     Rob Schaaf, St. Joseph.
     Kurt Schaefer, Columbia.