A tax credit package to boost advanced manufacturing is in the works for Missouri. The state House of Representatives has given initial approval to a plan that could give a tax credit of up to 20% to companies who invest a minimum of $1 billion and create at least 500 jobs in Missouri.

Rep. Brad Christ, R-St. Louis, is sponsoring the bill.

“I believe this bill would be the final piece of the puzzle that would leave no question that Missouri is the place to expand your business and invest billions in. We invest in their business as they invest in our state,” Christ said during debate on the bill.

He said it wants to make Missouri the most attractive state for companies to invest billions in.

“Our Midwestern states red and blue are incentivizing because they are seeing the massive opportunity of manufacturing coming back to the USA. Kansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, all have similar incentives. And guess what, they’re landing deals,” said Christ.

Under the bill, there would be requirements to meet, along with repayment penalties if the company does not reach performance requirements set by the state.

Rep. Chad Perkins, R-Bowling Green, said the bill would help the state to know what it can offer prior to meeting with companies.

“It sets right from the very beginning, some criteria that people have to make and meet. And literally any corporation with the ability to do so could do that. So, I think that that avoids us picking winners and losers,” he said. So you’re not making deals on an individual basis, but rather, the rules exist for everyone. I think that’s really well written. I think it’s great for economic development and I think that it’s going to be transformative in so many ways to the economy in the state of Missouri.”

Rep. Donna Baringer, D-St. Louis, is in support of the bill.

“If you look at the population of the state of Missouri, we could use this program because we could start repopulating areas that don’t have population,” said Baringer.

A political advocacy group, called Americans for Prosperity, opposes the bill.

“American taxpayers deserve manufacturing solutions that are affordable, reliable, and can make it on their own in the market. Every tax break given to one specific industry drives up taxes for the rest of Missouri’s families and businesses. In this economy, taxpayers are tired of being asked to fund corporate welfare for the administration’s favored industries,” said Jeremy Cady, the state director of AFP.

One more House vote in favor of the bill would send the plan to the Senate for possible tinkering to provisions.

For more information about the legislation, click here.

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