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Mo. Senate adds tax credit agreement to Mamtek bill, sends them to House

The Missouri Senate has passed a tax credit measure after hammering out an agreement between GOP leaders and fiscal conservatives who’ve been trying to reign in tax breaks for years.

The agreement would cap historic preservation tax credits at $75 million per year, give a one-year extension to food pantry and other charitable tax breaks, and create incentives to draw amateur sporting events to Missouri. State Senator Eric Schmitt(R, Glendale) urged the chamber to pass it before time runs out on the regular session.

“It’s not perfect," Schmitt said.  "Not everything that you’d like to see that we’ve worked on over the past couple of years is in all this, a lot of the reforms aren’t in this, but again, it’s an important first step for us to continue to move the ball forward.”

The agreement was added onto a bill that would place new guidelines on economic development officials who screen applicants for tax breaks, in the aftermath of the Mamtek failure that resulted in the town of Moberly taking a hit on its bond rating.  It was sponsored by State Senator Jim Lembke(R, Lemay).

“A number of senators came together because there just weren’t that many vehicles out there, and (they) wanted to use this vehicle to get some reform," Lembke said.  "We saw an opportunity to take a small step forward, and that’s what we did.”

The bill now goes to the Missouri House, with just two full days left in this year’s legislative session. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.