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AIM’s Week In Review – October 6, 2011

Associated Industries of Missouri Congratulates Ford Motor Company on Investment & Jobs Announcement

Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) congratulated AIM-member Ford Motor Company on this week’s announcement that, as part of the next Ford-UAW contract, if ratified, Ford will invest $1.1 billion and create more than 1,600 additional jobs in the Kansas City area over the next four years.

“Today’s announcement is the result of a lot of hard work by many people,” said AIM President Ray McCarty, and co-chairman of the Ford 2020 Task Force. “Associated Industries is especially grateful to the sponsors of the legislation, Representative Jerry Nolte (R-33, Gladstone) and Senator Luann Ridgeway (R-17, Smithville), and Governor Jay Nixon for calling a special session in 2010 to pass the Manufacturing Jobs Act. The incentives that made this possible are the type of incentives that should make Missouri legislators and taxpayers proud. Today’s  announcement shows that job retention and investment incentives not only help preserve our existing jobs, but help our Missouri companies expand their investments in capital and jobs inMissouri.”

Gov. Nixon and his administration have been in close communication with Ford about expansion plans over the past year. Last summer, Gov. Nixon called the General Assembly into special session to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act to provide economic tools to help Ford and other automotive manufacturers and suppliers bring next-generation vehicle production to Missouri. Ford will take advantage of tools included in the Manufacturing Jobs Act as part of this expansion.

Governor Nixon released a statement Tuesday. “Because of Missouri’s outstanding workforce, our strong business climate and the tools included in the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, workers will be building the next generation of Ford vehicles right here in the Show Me State.  We look forward to working closely with Ford and the UAW as we bring the automotive jobs of the future toMissouri.”

Missouri House Passes Its Version of the 2011 Economic Development Package

The Missouri House earlier this afternoon approved a version of the economic development bill, SB 8, as anticipated.  The House committee version was amended substantially with many different amendments.  One of the amendments that was adopted would lower the corporation income tax rate to 5.5% beginning January 1, 2012.  And another would establish a “Made in U.S.A.” sales tax holiday (excluding motor vehicles) the first week of July.  Don’t get too excited – the bill has to be approved by the Senate, and the Senate has not shown much willingness to expand the bill, much less to the extent it was expanded by the House.  If the bill becomes law, it will only be after the House and Senate establish a “conference committee” and work out any differences.  To date, there has been little willingness to establish such a conference committee, and it is possible the Senate could essentially refuse to take up the bill.  This would mean the bill would be essentially dead and the special session could be over.  On the other hand, nothing is dead until they adjourn.

The Senate is scheduled to reconvene next Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.

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