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Missouri lawmakers approve $40 million tax incentive for agricultural businesses

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ) Missouri lawmakers on Tuesday approved a $40 million tax-incentive package for agricultural businesses after a nearly three-week special session. The measure passed 26-3 and will benefit meat processing, biodiesel and urban farming companies. House Bill 3 extends the incentives for six years with a $2 million credit available each year, according to the Missouri Department of Agriculture. It will be capped at $75,000 per year per taxpayer. "This bill that we passed is a big win for rural Missouri, another win for Missourians pocket books." Sen. Dave Schatz said during a press conference. During the legislative regular session, a similar bill was passed allowing tax credits for agricultural businesses for two years. But Gov. Mike Parson vetoed the bill because he wanted the tax credits to be extended for six years. Sen. Jason Bean said the longer incentives are beneficial. "They don't look at two years, they want to know six years, they want to know you have some liability and two years just wasn't enough." Bean said. "It gives companies the feeling that we're gonna be there for them." Sen. Mike Moon, of Lawrence County, is a cattle rancher and voted against the bill. He voiced concerns about foreign companies getting the incentives. "Is there anything we can do to disincentive them coming in and taking up usable land and protect Missourians who might come afterward, after us to take that opportunity for themselves," Moon said. Sen. John Rizzo was in favor of the bill said this is a step up from programs that have already existed. "Do I believe it goes above and beyond to help the agriculture community? Probably not," he said. "But it maintains the status quo. Which in my opinion, what they need and what they were asking of and I don't think that is too much to ask for." Parson will sign the agriculture tax credits bill at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at the Capitol. Last week during the special session, the Missouri House passed a bill to cut the state's income tax. Immediate impact will be felt in January 2023 when the rate will drop from 5.3% to 4.95%.
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Erika McGuire

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