Bill Would Restore Tax Credits For Food Pantries

Jan 23, 2013

A bill that would revive three benevolent tax credits in Missouri is being considered by a State House committee. 

Tax breaks for food pantries, pregnancy resource centers and the Children in Crisis program all expired last year when lawmakers failed to pass any type of tax credit reform package. 

Republican Eric Burlison of Springfield is sponsoring the House version of the benevolent incentives bill.

“Some would say that we could collect taxes and then create some agency or program that would try to do this work, but I think that the way that it’s done is really a much better way to go, because we are engaging individuals and people in the community to not only give of their money, but to give of their heart,” says Burlison

Burlison says renewing the benevolent tax credits would only cost the state around $8 million a year--much less than the amounts available each year for historic preservation and low-income housing incentives. 

Scott Baker of the Missouri Food Bank Association testified Tuesday in favor of renewing the incentives.  He says according to the USDA, Missouri has the nation’s 7th highest food insecurity rate.

“And we have the 5th highest rate of very-low food security – that means someone in the household is skipping meals so the rest of the family, the rest of the people in the household, have enough to eat.  We also have the 5th highest rate of childhood hunger in the nation,” says Baker.

The House Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities will vote on the bill later. 

A Missouri House committee heard testimony Tuesday on legislation that would revive benevolent tax credits.  Incentives for food pantries, pregnancy resource centers and the Children in Crisis program expired on August 28th after lawmakers last year failed to agree on any type of tax credit reform. 

A committee vote is expected next week – meanwhile, a similar bill will be heard by a Missouri Senate committee Wednesday.