Press Release: Missouri House gets down to business, passing three economic development priorities of the Missouri Chamber

One week before the legislative spring break, the Missouri House got down to business, perfecting several economic development priorities of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

New Markets and Angel Tax Credits

The Missouri House perfected House Bill 191, sponsored by Rep. Noel Torpey, legislation that would expand the Missouri New Markets Development Program and establish the Missouri Angel Investment Incentive Act.  The Missouri New Markets Development Program is a successful economic development tool that attracts hundreds of millions of dollars in capital to the state’s low-income communities, fostering small business growth and job creation. The program provides low cost loans and equity investments for existing companies with plans to expand.

“Since 2007, Missouri has awarded approximately $48 million in credits while enabling companies to secure $1 billion in private sector investment tied to New Markets deals,” said Tracy King, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs.  “The program leverages $20 for every $1 in tax credits. At the same time, the program generates $1.53 return in taxes for every $1 of state credit.”

House Bill 191 also would provide tax credits to investors that provide early stage “angel” capital to qualified employers in the state and would be administered by the regional Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) with the primary goal of encouraging individuals to provide seed-capital financing for emerging Missouri businesses engaged in the development, implementation, and commercialization of innovative technologies, products, and services.

Freight Forwarder Incentives

House Bill 201, also sponsored by Rep. Neil Torpey, was amended by Rep. Anne Zerr during floor debate to provide incentives for businesses that forward freight internationally through any international airport in Missouri. Under this legislation, qualified freight forwarders would receive tax credits against income tax, based on the volume of outbound air cargo.  The credits are capped at $7.5 million per year.

“This legislation opens the door in Missouri to international markets,” said King.  “If international demand is increasing for American beef, we want to make sure that it is Missouri beef that is being shipped to satisfy that demand.  If the demand for American pharmaceuticals growing, we want to make sure those products are coming from Missouri.  We want Missouri farmers, Missouri manufacturers, Missouri truckers, and Missouri planes to be providing this growing international demand.”

Data Center Incentives

Tax incentives to encourage the establishment of data centers in Missouri also were perfected by the Missouri House in House Bill 222, sponsored by Rep. Anne Zerr.  The legislation was handled on the floor by Rep. Kevin Austin.

A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems.  It is a fast growing industry and states are scrambling to recruit data centers.

“We have become a technology and data driven society and the need of data centers are a result of this exponential growth,” King said.  “Neighboring states offer tax incentives including sales tax exemptions and personal property tax exemptions and abatement. Under current incentive conditions, a 100,000 square foot data center costs $15 million more to locate in Missouri than in competing states.”

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) was founded in 1923 and is the largest business organization in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers, providing more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.

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