Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Missouri Fortifies Its Incentives

My firm has been doing some work in Missouri. I just returned from a trip there. Missouri is moving on some new incentives.

Governor Matt Blunt (R-MO) has signed into law HB 1, the economic development and job creation bill lawmakers approved during their recently concluded special session of the Legislature.

The economic development legislation that was passed during the regular session of the General Assembly was vetoed by the Governor, who felt it was too costly. He says this slimmed down version of the package will help Missouri's economy and its job creation efforts, thanks the hard work of a lot of state lawmakers who put a lot of time and effort into this bill.

The key component of the bill is an expansion of the Quality Jobs Program, which offers incentives to businesses that provide both competitive wages and healthcare benefits. This bill increases the program's annual capacity from $12-Million to $40-Million.

Other pro-jobs initiatives in this legislation include expansion of the Enhanced Enterprise Zone and creation of the New Markets tax credit programs which are designed to promote expansion and new job creation. The bill increases the Enhanced Enterprise Zone capacity from $7-Million to $14-Million and creates a state match for the federal New Markets tax credit which brings investment to economically distressed areas.

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