House Committee tries again on tax incentives
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House Committee tries again on tax incentives

Date: January 24, 2012
By: Jordan Shapiro
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 1311 HB 1370

JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri House committee approved tax incentives for data storage centers and amateur sporting events Tuesday, after identical programs failed to pass the General Assembly last year.

The House Economic Development Committee sent two bills to the House floor to spur the growth of data storage center facilities and to attract amateur sporting events to Missouri. Similar bills failed during both last year's regular session and special session. The House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, sponsored the data storage initiative.  

Silvey's bill provides a state and local sales tax exemption for data storage centers spending money utilities, computers and equipment. The company would have to meet a minimum requirement of $37 million in capital investment and create 30 jobs in order to qualify for the tax break. The jobs created would have to pay 150 percent of the average state wage, currently at $45,000 per household, in order to qualify.

"If you don't meet that, you don't get it," Silvey said about the legislation's requirements.

Silvey described his bill as "anti-Mamtek," referring to the failed development project in Moberly because the tax credits will not apply unless there is an economic benefit to the state. Silvey said his bill is a "tax rebate," rather than a tax credit because the state does not lose tax revenue unless economic benefits of the data centers are realized.

The committee also approved Rep. Eric Burlison's, R-Springfield, bill, which would provide tax breaks to help attract amateur sporting events, such as NCAA tournaments, to the state. The measure would authorize an income tax credit for the costs of bringing such an event to Missouri.

President of the St. Louis Sports Commission Frank Viverito testified in support of the bill saying Missouri lost about $250 million in visitor spending in lost future amateur sports events due to a lack of tax incentives.

"It is going to bring a variety of NCAA championships and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) events to Springfield, Joplin, Jefferson City, St. Charles, Branson, St. Joseph and other communities," Viverito said.

The tax credit can only be claimed after the sporting event has taken place. Burlison's bill could cost the state $10 million in tax revenue according to the fiscal note prepared by legislative staff.

During the Special Session, the Missouri Senate refused to pass additional tax breaks for business without including cut backs in other developer tax credits that the House rejected.

No one testified in opposition to either bill and both were approved by unanimous votes. The measures now head to the House floor.

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