The entire economic analysis of the Aerotropolis bill comes under question from state senators. Some of them don’t trust the formula used to forecast success for the project. .
Backers of the China Hub trade portal being advocated for St. Louis want 360-million dollars in tax credits to help developers put together the storage buildings and factories that would make Lambert-St. Louis a Midwest hub for trade with China.
The economic development department uses a formula from Regional Economic Models Incorporated–REMI–to say a major warehouse project built near the airport would return a dollar-7 cents to the state for each tax dollar spent in ten years.
Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia questions the economic model—and points to a model that predicted a big future for a Moberly plant that has gotten into bad trouble.
1He was talking the economic development department’s Chris Pieper, who says the numbers that are used to determine return on investment of state money come from the companies wanting the credits.
Other senators think the return on investment is much too low for a 360-million dollar state investment.
Senate leadership has been hoping to get debate on the bill today.