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Bill To Revive Benevolent Tax Credits Heard By Mo. House Committee

Benevolent tax credits hearing, Scott Baker, MFBA, and Rep. Burlison.JPG
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.

“And we have the 5th highest rate of very-low food security – that means someone in the household is skipping meals so the rest of the family, the rest of the people in the household, have enough to eat," Baker said.  "We also have the 5th highest rate of childhood hunger in the nation.”

State Representative Eric Burlison (R, Springfield) is sponsoring the House version of the benevolent incentives bill.

“(There are) some that would say that we could collect taxes and then create some agency or program that would try to do this work," Burlison said.  "I think that the way that it’s done is really a much better way to go, because we are engaging individuals and people in the community to not only give of their money, but to give of their heart.”

Burlison says renewing the benevolent tax credits would only cost the state around $8 million a year, much less than the amounts available each year for historic preservation and low-income housing incentives.  The House Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities is expected to vote on the bill next week.  Meanwhile, a similar bill will be heard by a Missouri Senate committee on Wednesday.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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