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Tax credit plan gets Mo. House hearing

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – A Missouri House committee heard testimony Tuesday on Governor Jay Nixon's proposal to restructure the state's system of tax credits.

David Kerr, the governor's Economic Development chief, told the House Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development that the amount of tax credits awarded each year needs to be capped at no more than $314 million.

"We have a significant revenue shortfall, so at some point we have to, as all businesses do, as we all do in our personal lives...have to try to balance the dollars coming in and the dollars going out," Kerr said.

Those opposed to the measure say capping tax credits could have the opposite effect, causing revenues to drop even further.

Bill Kuehling, an attorney from St. Louis, testified before the committee.

"It will inject great unpredictability into the process for at least a year, 18 months, some amount like that...that is not going to be good for a construction and development industry that has already been decimated," Kuehling said.

The proposal by the Democratic governor is sponsored by a Republican, State Representative Steve Hobbs of Mexico, Missouri. He warns that if incentives aren't scaled back, the State Senate will likely sink any newly-proposed tax breaks.