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Tax credit bill passes Senate after long debate

By Marshall Griffin & Maria Hickey, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Senate has wrapped up its work during the special session. Senators spent 10 hours Wednesday debating the economic development bill, which contains about $66 million of tax credits and an expanded Quality Jobs program. It also legalizes ticket scalping in Missouri.

An attempt was made to remove the land assemblage tax credits, which would primarily benefit one St. Louis-area developer, Paul McKee. But Democrat Tim Green of St. Louis urged fellow senators to leave them in.

"This is an opportunity to revitalize an area that has not had any activity in probably 50 to 60 years," said Green.

McKee's plans, even though they've been kept under wraps, have drawn support from a group of pastors and union members on the city's north side.

The group says it has seen some plans and says they're the best hope for the run-down areas.

"We've not seen this kind of development in the last 40 years," said John Cross, the political organizer for SEIU Local 2000. "The people who are criticizing this bill - my question to them is 'where is your plan? What's your plan to change this neighborhood?'"

Reverend James T. Morris says the development would bring jobs and housing to the area, but he could not offer specifics.


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