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UPDATE: Missouri lawmakers pass economic development bill, end session

Friday, May 15, 2009 | 5:10 p.m. CDT; updated 10:26 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 20, 2009
State representatives throw their papers in the air after Missouri's 95th General Assembly adjourned the first regular session on Friday in the state Capitol building. The conclusion of the legislative session means all bills' statuses are final, and Gov. Jay Nixon will begin reviewing bills next week.

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers have ended their 2009 session by sending Gov. Jay Nixon a compromise bill expanding some business incentives while reining in others.

Passage of the wide-ranging economic development bill allowed the Democratic governor and Republican-led legislature to claim success on their No. 1 priority for the 2009 session.

What's in it?

A look at key provisions in an economic development bill.

QUALITY JOBS

Raises the program's tax credit cap to $80 million from the current $60 million. Quality Jobs provides incentives to certain businesses that add new jobs paying at least average wages and providing health benefits.

BUILD PROGRAM

Raises the program's tax credit cap to $25 million from the current $15 million. The Business Use Incentives for Large-Scale Development program awards tax credits to companies to pay off bonds used to build their plants.

NEW MARKETS

Raises the program's tax credit cap to $25 million from the current $15 million. The New Markets program provides tax credits to equity investments in development projects located in areas with significant poverty rates or low medium incomes.

LAND ASSEMBLAGE

Raises the amount of tax credits that can be awarded annually to $20 million from the current $10 million but keeps the program's cumulative cap at $95 million. The land assemblage tax breaks apply to developers who buy large sections of land in impoverished areas.

HISTORIC RENOVATIONS

Imposes a $140 million annual state cap on tax credits for the renovation of historic buildings. Exempts redevelopment projects costing less than $1.1 million from counting toward the state's cumulative cap on historic preservation tax credits.

FINANCE BOARD

Limits infrastructure tax credits that can be authorized by the Missouri Development Finance Board to $10 million annually, or $25 million if three executive branch officials approve of the higher figure. Current law allows an unlimited amount of tax credits if the executive officials give their approval.

LOW-INCOME HOUSING

Imposes a $6 million annual cap on certain tax credits for developers of low-income housing projects. The cap applies to developers seeking tax credits equaling 4 percent of their construction costs. A separate, more lucrative low-income housing tax credit already is capped under federal law around $12 million.

FRANCHISE TAX

Reduces the number of businesses that must pay Missouri's franchise tax by increasing the asset threshold that triggers the tax to $10 million from the current $1 million. The change would result in an estimated $12 million tax cut.

JOB TRAINING

Adds pre-employment training to an existing Department of Economic Development program that helps pay for job training in new or expanding industries.

CLOSED RECORDS

Allows public closure of records related to a business prospect with which the state Department of Economic Development or a regional planning commission is negotiating.

 

 



But financial strains or partisan tensions led to the defeat of several other Nixon priorities. Those include the proposed expansions of college scholarships, government health care for low-income parents and private insurance for autistic children.

The House and Senate adjourned about 5:50 p.m. Friday — 10 minutes before their constitutionally required quitting time.

 

 


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