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Article Details

AIM for Good Business Week in Review

Finally, Tax Reform for Everyone...AIM Business Priorities Advance

Nathan Dampf, AIM Director of Communications, 2/18/2011



This week in the Missouri Capitol, legislators debated and passed two sets of pro-business tax reforms.


The Missouri Senate overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Senator Eric Schmitt (R-St. Louis County), Wednesday.  The bill will place a cap on the amount of franchise tax that must be paid by Missouri corporations at the amount paid in 2010 and will phase-out the franchise tax over 5 years. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.  Similar legislation (HB 76) was also filed in the House by Representative Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone).


“The passage of Senate Bill 19 is a huge victory for businesses that have been promised tax reform since 2002,” said AIM President Ray McCarty. “While legislators in Jefferson City have passed several bills aimed at reducing the tax burden for businesses, a majority of the bills have been tax credits which target specific industries or businesses that provide certain benefits or jobs.”


Also on Wednesday, in addition to the full Senate’s approval of SB19, the Senate Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government unanimously voted to approve Senate Bill 146, which phases in a 50 percent deduction of Missouri’s business income tax.  The corporation income part of the bill was changed so that it is a reduction in rate, rather than an exemption. AIM and legislators felt this approach would work better for purposes of advertising Missouri as a business-friendly state.


SB146 is part of AIM’s Agenda to Restore Prosperity in Missouri. The legislation came out of a discussion that AIM President Ray McCarty had with a Missouri business owner. This bill would help every business – no matter the size of the business. The bill now advances to the Senate floor for consideration.


AIM’s Pro-Business Agenda Update:


Last week, AIM informed our members of the recent activity on Senate Bill 8. Senator Jack Goodman filed the legislation to help alleviate the burdens associated with recent workers’ compensation cases. In a drafting error last week, the original intent of the bill was removed. Senator Goodman worked with business to restore the intent in a parliamentary procedure, but the bill still is cause for concern to business. AIM has worked with Senator Goodman and he has introduced improved legislation. We have also met with Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer who has committed to making it a business-friendly bill.


Also discussed last week was the hearing on Senate Bill 1 which makes Missouri a Right to Work state. This week, Senate Bill 206 was also heard and rolled into the Senate Bill 1. The two bills were voted out of committee this week as Senate Committee Substitute for SB1 & SB206 (Sen. Purgason). AIM supports Right to Work and testified last week and this week in favor of the bills.


The Senate Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government committee met Wednesday to hear several pieces of legislation. AIM was there to show our support for:


-         Senate Bill 217 was filed by Sen. Ron Richard (R-Joplin) to provide sales and use tax exemptions for data centers in Missouri. AIM supports the incentives to attract new data centers to Missouri and to ensure we keep the existing data centers already located in the state.


-         Senate Bill 246 provides an Angel Investor Tax Credit for equity investments in technology-based early stage Missouri companies.


-         Senate Bill 189 modifies the AIM-drafted Quality Jobs Act to lower the job creation threshold and wage requirement for the program in dormant plant manufacturing zones. AIM President Ray McCarty drafted the legislation back in 2005 and testified this week in favor of the changes to the program.


-         Senate Bill 248 was filed by Senator Mike Parson to establish the “proof of concept” business finance program to be administered by the Missouri Technology Corporation. The program will provide one-time loans to eligible advanced technology companies which must be repaid within five years of the date of the loan in an amount equal to two times the amount of the loan.


-         Senate Bill 252 authorizes a tax credit for qualified research expenses. The tax credit is limited to research expenses incurred in the research and development of agricultural biotechnology and plant genome products, and prescription pharmaceuticals consumed by animals. AIM testified in favor the legislation filed by Senator Mike Kehoe, but recommended to the committee that this should be a “first step to revive ALL types of research and development.”


House Bill 89 (Rep. Darrell Pollock, R-Lebanon) was introduced to extend Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources Water and Hazardous Waste fees so Missouri businesses can maintain operation in compliance with the law. Last week, AIM testified in favor of the legislation. It was voted out of the committee and now is one step away from being debated by the entire House of Representatives. The legislation is part of AIM’s Agenda to Restore Prosperity in Missouri.


House Bill 61 (Rep. Jerry Nolte, R-Gladstone) was also voted out of committee last week. The International Trade and Job Creation committee gave approval to the bill which prohibits Missouri’s minimum wage from exceeding the federal level.  HB61 is part of the Fix the Six Coalition priorities and the AIM Agenda to Restore Prosperity in Missouri.


House Bill 364, sponsored by Rep. Mark Parkinson (R-St. Charles County), revises Missouri’s tort law provisions and restricts the liability of business defendants to their percentage of fault. AIM President Ray McCarty testified in favor of the legislation before the House General Laws Committee. He stated, “Defendants should pay their fair share and no more.” The bill was approved by the committee Thursday and sent to the House Rules Committee.


House Joint Resolution 6 (Rep. Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit) was filed to protect Missouri employees’ right to a secret ballot election. “Save Our Secret” ballot, as the legislation has been called protects Missouri union elections from the federal policy “Card Check” or the “Employee Free Choice Act”. Last year, AIM hosted several SOS ballot meetings throughout Missouri. AIM members and other Missouri businesses have been very supportive of this legislation.


House Bill 408 was heard Thursday morning in the House Ways and Means Committee. The legislation drafted by Representative Andrew Koenig (R-St. Louis County) would increase the sales and use tax rate by .4939 percent, but would cut the corporation income tax rate in half. The bill also eliminates Missouri’s Corporation franchise tax. AIM President Ray McCarty testified in favor of the legislation stating that the bill “would lower the tax burden on businesses in Missouri and make Missouri a more attractive state within which to conduct business.”


AIM has the most experienced lobbying team in Missouri business. We work diligently to promote business and help business understand how these policies affect you and your business. If you have any questions regarding the legislation above, please feel free to contact the AIM staff at 573-634-2246.