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AIM testifies in support of economic development bills, R&D and film credits advance

March 22, 2022 - Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) president and CEO Ray McCarty testified today in favor of numerous bills, including House Bill 1590, Senate Bill 1136 and Senate Bill 1092 heard today by the Senate Economic Development Committee. But first, the Committee approved two bills supported by AIM in previous hearings.

The Committee approved SB 688, sponsored by Sen. Brian Williams, a bill to establish a state research and development tax credit. AIM supports this credit as a way to attract more research and development into the state. The Committee also approved SB 961 and amended the bill to include a film tax credit that is supported by AIM.

HB 1590

House Bill 1590, the Right to Start Act sponsored by Rep. Travis Fitzwater, provides incentives for new businesses. Beginning July 1, 2024, this bill would require 5% of all state contracts to be awarded to businesses that have been in operation for less than five years. This bill also phases in the tax liability of start-up companies and puts protections in place to ensure true start-up companies receive the benefits. Finally, the bill establishes the Office of Entrepreneurship in the Department of Economic Development.

AIM president and CEO Ray McCarty testified in favor of the bill. When questioned about limiting the program to Missouri-based businesses, McCarty responded the U.S. Supreme Court had opined the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution prevented such taxing schemes that benefit companies within a particular state to the detriment of companies headquartered outside that state.

SB 1136

SB 1136, introduced by Senator Steven Roberts, authorizes a tax credit for employers who provide educational assistance to employees who are residents of this state. Educational assistance is defined as payment by the taxpayer of principal or interest on qualified student loans.

The amount of the tax credit shall not exceed $5,250 per employee. To be eligible for a tax credit, the employer mus be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or charitable organization that maintains an educational assistance program as described in federal law.

SB 1092

SB 1092, introduced by Senator Denny Hoskins, modifies some provisions of the Missouri Works program during certain statewide emergencies, including during the emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This bill would not disqualify an otherwise qualified company from receiving benefits if they were not able to create the agreed upon number of jobs during the emergency period.

McCarty testified he was aware of several member businesses that were not able to create the agreed upon number of jobs due to the pandemic and they were worried about the ability to continue in the Missouri Works program in future years.

The Economic Development Committee took no action during the hearing on the three bills heard today. We will keep you posted on the progress of these bills.



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