Missouri Legislature Attempts Tax Credits for Air Cargo

8 years 3 months 2 days ago Wednesday, May 02 2012 May 2, 2012 Wednesday, May 02, 2012 2:48:00 PM CDT May 02, 2012 in News
By: Becky May

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate looked a bill Wednesday offering tax credits for air cargo. The house approved this bill two weeks ago. This piece of legislation is a modified version of the China Hub bill. The bill gives tax credits for exports from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, however the warehouse component is removed. Sponsor of the bill, Rep. Mike Leara, R-St. Louis, said he thinks the bill will get movement in the senate, and if it doesn't pass this session he will try again.

"I will file it again in December and it [the bill] will be similar if not the same of what we have right now," said Leara.

There was no vote in the Jobs Committee hearing, but the chairman, Sen. Eric Schmidt, R- St. Louis, said it will be brought up on the senate floor.

"This committee in the past has supported this issue before and I think it will ignite Missouri in being a key player to world trade," said Schmidt.

The tax credits would have a cap of $60 million over eight years.

Opposition of the bill said there are so many tax credit programs currently, it doesn't make sense to issue more. Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield, said he thinks after many Republicans like himself finish their term, there will be less effort for a tax credit reform.

"I think it will be a feeding frenzy for tax credits across the state that will put the state at a budget shortfall," said Purgason.

Purgason said he would consider the freight forwarding bill if there is a tax reform package that is tagged along with it.

In the previous special session, the proposed tax credits for air cargo exports were a central part to bring in business to the state.

There are less than three weeks remaining in the legislative session.

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