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Mid-Missouri meat processor benefits from tax credits that lawmakers are debating in Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

This week in the state capital, lawmakers began a special session called to work on proposed changes to taxes, including extending and creating new agricultural tax credits.

Gov. Mike Parson wants to extend several tax credits for at least six years, including meat processing facility investment. He also wants to create several credits for the biodiesel industry and improve the urban farming credit.

Steve Burger is the owner of Burgers' Smokehouse, which makes cured and smoked meats. Burgers' Smokehouse is one of the recipients of the meat processors tax credit.

In fiscal year 2022, $1,302,451.21 was invested into the meat processing facility tax credit, according to the state accountability portal. About $2 million of the credit are available each year, according to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The credit is equal to 25% of the amount spent for modernization and expansion and is capped at $75,000 per year per taxpayer.

Burgers' Smokehouse started in California, Missouri, in the 1920s. Now, it sells meat nationally to grocers and through e-commerce. Burger said part of the incentive to continue investing in facilities and improvements in Missouri is the tax credit.

"The program works really quite well," Burger said. "We've qualified each year for the tax credits and have utilized those tax credits to continue to invest here in Missouri."

The credit meat processors receive is based on the amount of money they've invested into their business in Missouri, such as equipment or facility upgrades. The meat processing credit is used as an offset for their state corporate tax.

Jill Wood is executive director of the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority at the Department of Agriculture. Wood said the meat processors tax credit was started during the pandemic when the state realized it was behind in the industry.

"That's a tax credit that goes to meat processors for expansion of their processing facility so that benefits farmers by more capacity to process meat," Wood said. "Honestly, they're going to make more money if they're able to process more meat quickly."

Wood said Parson and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe understand the agriculture industry, which helps it grow throughout the state.

"Things in agriculture are a cycle," Wood said. "We have droughts and then we have floods. So, it takes a long time to make progress, but over the years we've made tremendous progress, and these tax credits will continue to benefit Missouri in the long term."

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics
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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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