The first day of pre-filing bills for the coming session of the General Assembly sees a State Senator revisiting an issue near and dear to his heart. Senator Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau) is again attempting to strip the Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB) of its power to grant tax credits and, instead, to have all tax credits put through the appropriations process in the Legislature.
“The Missouri Development Finance Board was set up years and years and years ago to be able to issue tax credits and to oversee some other programs,” said Crowell in an interview with the Missourinet. “I think in today’s day and age all of those functions need to be brought within the General Assembly’s purview instead of outsourcing that to a group of unelected individuals that are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.”
Crowell believes too many politicians use the MDFB to reward supporters with benefits that could never be handed out were elected officials required to take a stand.
“The elected politicians know that they could never get 82 votes in the House, 18 votes in the Senate, and a Governor’s signature to use taxpayer dollars to build baseball stadiums, to build football stadiums,” said Crowell. “So, they all direct it through the Missouri Development Finance Board.”
This is not a new endeavor for Crowell, who has failed in the past to change the process by which tax credits are awarded. But he’s not giving up.
“My favorite story growing up was ‘The Little Engine That Could,’ and I’m going to keep saying ‘I think I can, I think I can’ until I get over that mountain,” said Crowell.
Crowell’s effort to pass similar legislation fell one vote short of passing in the Senate last year.