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GOP lawmakers reach agreement on business incentives, Nixon to call special session

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis.
(via Flickr/dbking)
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis.

Updated 5:26 p.m. with further detail and comment from lawmakers

Updated 2:24 p.m. with statement from office of Gov. Nixon on special session

A statement issued today from Scott Holste, a spokesperson for Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon, announces that the governor will call the Missouri legislature into special session.

The date of the special session has not been determined.

The announcement came just moments after Republican legislative leaders said they had reached an agreement on a plan to create new business incentives while scaling back some of Missouri's existing tax credits.

Here's the full statement:

“By working together in a bi-partisan way, we’ve taken another important step toward passing a major job-creation package in a fiscally responsible manner. “From day one, Gov. Nixon’s priorities have been creating jobs and keeping our state’s fiscal house in order. The Governor intends to call the General Assembly into special session to focus on passing this bi-partisan jobs package and moving our economy forward.”

Republican Senate President Rob Mayer of Dexter says the far-reaching bill will free up millions of dollars in tax incentives for business, including air freight carriers, science and technology companies, as well as money to attract amateur sporting events.

"Historically economic development has not been an issue which divides Republicans and Democrats," Mayer said. "And so I look forward to working with our governor to make this happen in the coming weeks."

House Speaker, Republican Steven Tilley says the so-called "Aerotropolis" bill could create as many as 20,000 jobs.

"We've agreed to a compromise that will create thousands of jobs, not just in St. Louis but in Kansas City and Columbia, all around the state, even in rural Missouri," Tilley said. "It's a proposal that we believe will be on the forefront of what you see nationally."

The agreement announced today would provide $380 million in tax credits for air cargo facilities located at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. 

Original Story, posted 11:37 a.m.:

Republican leaders of the Missouri House and Senate say they have reached a deal on a package of business incentives that could be considered during a special session.

The agreement would create new tax breaks in an attempt to transform the St. Louis airport into an international cargo hub. It also would create new incentives for science and technology companies, computer-based data storage centers and amateur sporting events.

In exchange, it would scale back some existing tax credits, including ones for the renovation of historic buildings and construction of low-income housing.

The plan is similar to one that failed during the regular session that ended in May. Republican leaders want Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to call lawmakers into a special session in September to consider the package.