The senate advances a small tax cut for small businesses in small towns. 

Much of southern Missouri is forest and the towns are small, too small to attract significant industry.   But they have an industry that relies on the forest to provide jobs in those small towns.

Rolla Senator Dan Brown has persuaded the senate to tentatively approve a change in the way small-town sawmils and planing mills are taxed.  “They’re about the only source of jobs and income for some of our very small communities in some of our less-populated counties,” he says.

His bill changes the state tax code to let those little mills be taxed as agricultural property, not commercial property.  That means the mills would be taxed at 12 percent of their valuation instead of 32 percent.

Brown has been trying to get this done for some time but school districts have opposed his plan because it would cost them too much in property tax revenue.  He thinks He has limited the size of the mills enough this time that the schools’ opposition has gone away. 

Brown’s bill needs one more round of favorable voting before it goes to the House.  The House advanced its version of the bill on Monday. both bills will be sent to the other chambers before lawmakers leave on spring break in a week.

 Sens. Brown, McKenna, & Callahan discuss bill 6:25 mp3