Tax Credits

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

It appears so far that the Missouri Senate may no longer be the place where tax credits go to die.

In years past, proposed incentives for such things as historic preservation or amateur sporting events would have faced a filibuster threat from a group of fiscally conservative Republicans in the Senate.  But the leaders of that group are gone due to term limits, and perhaps that’s why this year’s amateur sports incentives bill was allowed to receive a Senate floor vote.  State Senator Will Kraus (R, Lee’s Summit) says the atmosphere has changed.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would revive three benevolent tax credits in Missouri is being considered by a State House committee.

Tax breaks for food pantries, pregnancy resource centers and the Children in Crisis program all expired last year when lawmakers failed to pass any type of tax credit reform package.  Scott Baker, State Director of the Missouri Food Bank Association, testified today in favor of renewing the incentives.  He says according to the USDA, Missouri has the nation’s 7th highest food insecurity rate.

(Jerry W. Lewis' Flickr page)

Updated 1/2/2013 with the credit's legislative developments.

While “fiscal cliff” negotiations are happening in the nation’s capital, a lesser known issue is also on the table. And depending on the outcome, thousands of jobs in Missouri could be at stake.

Gerald Nickelson is a worker at CG Power Systems in Washington, Missouri. As he walks around the factory, he points out a line of workers in front of a machine, wrapping coil. Later, the coil will be housed inside a green metal tank and shipped off as a complete transformer.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) Tax Credit Review Commission has released its revised list of recommendations.

Some of the original recommendations have been scaled back.  The new list calls for shrinking the cap on Historic Preservation tax credits to $90 million, instead of $75 million as proposed two years ago, and reducing the cap on Low Income Housing to $135 million instead of $80 million.  The caps for Historic Preservation and Low Income Housing are currently $140 million and $195 million, respectively.  The new report also drops the recommendation to put expiration dates on all tax credits.

via Flickr/alancleaver_2000

Members of a panel created to review Missouri’s tax credits are leaning towards recommending that the cap on Historic Preservation tax credits be cut nearly in half.

The incentives program is popular with developers, but Democratic Governor Jay Nixon and a group of Republican State Senators say it’s draining off revenues from the state budget.

Tom Reeves co-chairs the subcommittee looking into Historic Preservation tax credits. He says he favors much of the recommendation from two years ago to reduce the annual cap from $140 million a year to $75 million a year.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has reconvened his tax credit review commission to again examine which incentives need to be eliminated or further capped.

In 2010 the same commission recommended sun-setting 28 tax credit programs and capping 33 others. At the time the commission said the move would save the state $220 million.  Former Republican State Senator Chuck Gross of St. Charles again chairs the commission.

(photo courtesy of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis)

Attorney General Chris Koster has sued a well-known St. Louis developer and his former business partner in an effort to recover tax credits that Koster says were fraudulently obtained.

In the suit filed today in Cole County, Koster alleges that in 2010 and 2011, the state Department of Economic Development awarded developers Kevin McGowan and Nathaniel Walsh nearly $2.4 million in brownfield credits to clean up lead paint at the Cupples 9 building in downtown St. Louis.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Speaker of the Missouri House has thrown cold water on a scaled-back tax credit reform measure passed Wednesday by the Senate.

The Missouri Senate has passed a tax credit measure after hammering out an agreement between GOP leaders and fiscal conservatives who’ve been trying to reign in tax breaks for years.

The agreement would cap historic preservation tax credits at $75 million per year, give a one-year extension to food pantry and other charitable tax breaks, and create incentives to draw amateur sporting events to Missouri.  State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale) urged the chamber to pass it before time runs out on the regular session.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two bills that would provide incentives for building underground data storage centers and for drawing amateur sporting events to Missouri have cleared a State House committee.

They’re now headed to the House floor.  If they pass there, Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) says he thinks they’ll have a fair shot at being passed by the Missouri Senate.

A very contentious special legislative session ended with a whimper in Jefferson City this week.  It was dominated by seven weeks of head-butting over a wide-ranging tax credit bill that in the end boiled down to a long-running battle between the Missouri House and Senate over whether tax credits should have expiration dates.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at what happened.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri’s special legislative session is over.

President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) adjourned the Missouri Senate exactly seven weeks after lawmakers returned to Jefferson City.  Only two bills were passed, the “Facebook Fix” and a high-tech jobs measure – but the top priority, an economic development bill, died because House and Senate leaders couldn’t agree on expiration dates for historic preservation and low-income housing tax credits.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The head of the Missouri Senate has announced he’s going to pull the plug on the special legislative session next week.

President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) believes it’s too late to pass any kind of economic development bill before the session expires in two weeks.  Despite Thursday’s move by the Missouri House to appoint lawmakers to negotiate a final version of the wide-ranging tax credit bill, Mayer says any agreement must include 7-year expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low income housing tax credits.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require all tax credits to undergo a regular review process.

If it succeeds, each tax credit would have to be voted on by the full General Assembly every four years.  The resolution is the House’s alternative to expiration dates for tax credits favored by the Missouri Senate.  It’s sponsored by House Budget Chair Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri House has done an about-face and now wants a joint committee to negotiate a final version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill that has divided the House and Senate throughout the ongoing special session.

House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) had suggested weeks ago that a conference committee wasn’t necessary and that any differences on tax credits could be worked out during floor debates.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter), meanwhile, had pushed for going to conference because that’s the normal route for reaching compromise on bills.  Tilley says he’s decided to take Mayer at his word.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri’s special legislative session may, in effect, be over, following Monday's actions in the Missouri Senate.

First, the Senate rejected the House version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill, voting to send it back to the House and urging passage of the Senate version.  Then Senate leaders chose not to vote on a presidential primary bill, following a failed attempt to swap it out with an alternate version that would have replaced the primary with county-level caucuses.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The full Missouri Senate is set to convene next week, October 17th, to make one last attempt at reaching an agreement on a wide-ranging economic development bill.

The biggest sticking point remains whether to place 7-year expiration dates, or sunsets, on low income and historic preservation tax credits.  The Missouri House removed the sunsets before passing the bill last week, a move opposed by the Senate.

President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says he’ll ask the Senate to vote to appoint conferees, who would meet with House leaders and try to hammer out a final version of the bill.

(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

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).

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri House leaders have confirmed they’re returning to Jefferson City next week to resume the special legislative session -- but their return doesn’t mean that there’s been any breakthrough on an economic development deal.

The special session ground to a halt last week because House and Senate leaders could not agree on whether to place expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low-income housing tax credits, or on how much oversight Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) Economic Development department should have over some incentives.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Lawmakers have left Jefferson City and are not scheduled to return, even though the special session is still officially underway.  House and Senate leaders are still at odds over a wide-ranging tax credit bill.

The only legislative action so far this week was Monday’s technical session in the Missouri Senate, in which two Senators gaveled the chamber in, took no action, then gaveled out about a minute later.  The House is scheduled to hold a similarly brief session on Thursday.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The special legislative session in Missouri did not come to an end today, despite warnings from House and Senate leaders that they would go home if an agreement on a wide-ranging tax credit bill wasn’t reached by today's adjournments.

Instead, both chambers will hold technical sessions, where just a handful of lawmakers gavel in for a few minutes and then adjourn.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says his chamber will only meet in technical sessions until an agreement is reached on tax credits, or until time runs out in early November, whichever comes first.

(via Flickr/The Cleveland Kid)

The city of St. Louis once again plans to use tax credits to keep the headquarters of a major company in downtown.

Legislation that will be introduced at the Board of Aldermen on Friday gives Ralcorp $20 million in tax credits to upgrade and expand its headquarters at 8th and Market.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 6:29 p.m.

A Missouri House committee has dealt what could be a fatal blow to the passage of the wide-ranging tax credit bill that lawmakers have been battling over throughout the special legislative session.

The House Economic Development Committee adjourned for the day without taking it up for a vote, which means the full House cannot vote on it Friday unless it suspends the rules.  Chairwoman Anne Zerr (R, St. Charles) says the bill is just not ready to be voted on, as House and Senate negotiators are nowhere near an agreement.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The special legislative session called by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) could end as soon as Friday without any legislation being passed.

House and Senate leaders continue to butt heads over what should and should not be included in the wide-ranging tax credit bill, and that includes the compromise version that House leaders announced that they’ve reached with the governor.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says the chances of reaching a compromise by Friday look very slim.

Missouri House leaders have announced "a compromise proposal" on the tax credit bill that's become stalled during the ongoing special legislative session.

In a press release issued today, State Representatives John Diehl (R, Town and Country) and Anne Zerr (R, St. Charles) said that they had worked with Governor Jay Nixon (D) on crafting an alternate proposal.  However, the press release contains no details on what's in it.  Zerr says she cannot disclose what's in the compromise because it's still being worked on.

(UPi/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 9:39 a.m. Sept. 14

A smaller version of the wide-ranging tax credit bill received first-round approval Tuesday in the Missouri Senate.  GOP Senate leaders realized there was not enough support within their own caucus for passing $360 million in air cargo incentives, not to mention a threatened filibuster. 

(via Flickr/dbking)

The Missouri Senate has postponed debate on the massive tax credit bill which includes $360 million for a cargo hub at Lambert Airport in St. Louis.

Debate was set to begin this morning, but some senators asked President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) for more time to read the 268-page bill, which he granted.

Popular Mo. historic tax credit faces budget ax

Sep 6, 2011
(U.S. Dept. of the Interior/National Register of Historic Places) / http://dnr.mo.gov/shpo/nps-nr/08001025.pdf

As today marks the beginning of this year's special session in the Missouri legislature, this story from our own Adam Allington, which aired on Marketplace yesterday is especially pertinent.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 12:38 p.m. with information on tax credits for those with special needs

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

Missouri's low-income housing agency has approved $100 million in tax credits to help rebuild Joplin and the St. Louis County community of Berkeley after they were hit by tornadoes earlier this year.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Republican leaders of the Missouri General Assembly are criticizing Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to exclude land assemblage tax credits from the special session planned for next month.

In a letter to Nixon, House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) and Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) said that his “personal agenda against an individual developer (Paul McKee)...has no place in this debate and should not impact the overall priority of tax credit reform.”

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