Benevolent tax credit extensions pass House

Thursday, February 7, 2013 | 5:50 p.m. CST; updated 9:57 a.m. CST, Friday, February 15, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY – A bill that would extend five benevolent tax credits passed with almost unanimous support in the Missouri House of Representatives on Wednesday, a week after a similar bill passed in the Senate.

The bill would benefit a range of people and organizations by extending until 2019 the sunsets on certain benevolent tax credit programs. It passed the House with little controversy; only two representatives voted against it, and 149 voted in favor. 

If the legislation eventually is signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, it would become law immediately due to an emergency clause included in the bill.

Columbia Rainbow House's Child Advocacy Center would be one of the beneficiaries of the sunset extension, Chad McMinn, Rainbow House development director, said.

"(The tax credit program) is very significant in how we run and having donors choose us over other non-profits," he said.

The Child Advocacy Center employs staff to conduct forensic interviews with children suspected of being victims of physical or sexual abuse. It received more than $19,000 in donations in fiscal 2012.

Birthright Counseling St. Louis – a beneficiary of one of the five programs – saw an 8 percent decrease in donations from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2012. Executive Director Kathy Brand believes that was a result of the August 2012 sunset of one of the tax credit programs in question.

Donations qualifying under the program totaled about $300,000 in fiscal 2012, she said. 

Birthright Counseling provides professional counseling to pregnant women. The counselors discuss all available paths for pregnant women, including alternatives to abortion.

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri received more than $2.5 million in contributions in fiscal 2012 for which donors were eligible for tax credits.

The bill also would extend sunsets on:

  • A tax credit program for those who earn less than $30,000 per year and make their home accessible to people with disabilities.
  • A tax credit program for surviving spouses of public safety officers.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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