Missouri Senate backs new tax powers for river ports

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | 12:09 p.m. CST; updated 12:22 p.m. CST, Tuesday, February 24, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — River port developers could gain new power to levy taxes in Missouri.

Senators gave initial approval Tuesday to legislation allowing the creation of port improvement districts that could impose property and sales taxes.

Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields said it's supported by Kansas City officials who want to redevelop an area near the Missouri River for retail, light commercial and residential use. But the new taxing powers would apply to ports across the state.

Under the bill, 60 percent of property owners in a proposed district would have to sign a petition seeking to create it. The taxes then would then have to be approved by a majority of eligible voters in the district.

The port district is similar to a transportation development district already allowed by state law.


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