Rep. Delus Johnson Introduces Missouri Jobs for Education Act
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation introduced by state Rep. Delus Johnson, R- St. Joseph, would encourage job creation by providing employers with tuition credits for any Missouri public institution of higher learning. The Missouri Jobs for Education Act (HB 1728) would deposit the withholding tax for a newly-created job into the Missouri Jobs for Education Fund. Businesses could then claim the credit for their employees or family members, or they could gift the credit as a scholarship. Johnson said the goal of the bill is to both spark job creation and to help more Missourians achieve the goal of obtaining a college degree.
"My hope is the bill will give an additional incentive for job creation while also providing the financial assistance that will encourage more and more Missourians to attend a university, college or technical school," said Johnson. "As we try to pull our state out of this sluggish economy, it is critical that we create good-paying jobs for our citizens and that we find ways to make our citizens educated and capable as a workforce. My bill is one piece of the puzzle that will help us to do that."
In order to qualify for the credit, Johnson's bill would require employers to create jobs that pay wages that meet or exceed the county average. The jobs would have to be maintained for at least one year before the employer is eligible to redeem the credit. Johnson said his bill would allow an employer to redeem a credit equal to the amount withheld for employment tax. He said for a job paying the average Missouri salary of $41,050, the amount of the credit would be $1,477. An employer creating ten jobs at the average wage could redeem a credit of $14,770 after one year. The tuition credit could never exceed the amount contributed by the employer.
Johnson's bill now awaits assignment to committee for further discussion.