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Missouri House passes tax credit bill

The Missouri House Wednesday night gave preliminary approval to a package of tax credit changes aimed at reducing the programs’ burdens on the state budget while maintaining vital economic development tools.

House Bill 698, sponsored by Rep. Anne Zerr (R-St. Charles) includes a new program called Missouri Works that combines the current Enhanced Enterprise Zones, Rebuilding


Rep. Anne Zerr


Communities, Quality Jobs and Compete Missouri programs, and places a cap of $50-million on the new program.

At the same time, the legislation reduces the cap on Historic Preservation credits by $5-million down to $135 million, while maintaining the Low Income Housing Credit program at its current $135 million. The programs are not subject to sunsets.

HB 698 also raises the cap on the tax credit for land assemblage from $20 million to $30 million, a key provision for investors in large scale real estate improvement ventures such as the Bannister Mall redevelopment project in Kansas City.

“Tax credit programs such as Historic Preservation and Low Income Housing have proven their worth and spurred economic growth in Missouri,” said Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty. “The changes made by House Bill 698 are reasonable and important.”

The bill establishes tax credit programs for angel investments, freight forwarders, and data storage businesses.

The House bill is markedly different from the Senate’s bill on tax credit changes that passed the body earlier this year. Senate bill sponsor, Sen. Mark Lamping (R-St. Louis) criticized the House bill calling it “non-reform.” Rep. Zerr calls the House bill a starting point for negotiations.

House Bill 698 is under review by the House Fiscal Review Committee. It should return to the House floor next week for a final vote.

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