Efforts to give Missouri manufacturing a tax break on utilities was successful in this year’s legislative session — in a way, too successful.
Language was included in two bills exempting utilities and chemicals from sales taxes. However, county and city officials said a blanket sales-tax exemption would curtail revenue.
Taking these concerns into consideration, local legislators were successful in protecting the county and city sales-tax revenue in one bill, but another bill — a piece of legislation containing economic development incentives vital to business and industrial growth — would eliminate county and city sales taxes as well as state sales tax from the exempted manufacturing expenditures.
The first bill has already been signed by Gov. Matt Blunt. If he signs the second bill, there will be conflicting language regarding which taxes to exempt or collect.
The overall importance to Missouri’s economy of development incentives is likely to outweigh the concern over the conflicting language in the bills regarding sales taxes.
The quickest remedy would be for the legislature to pass a corrective measure as early as possible next year.
— Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau)