The Missouri Senate passed two sets of tax credit legislation. So far this year, the Senate may no longer be the place where tax credits go to die.
In years past, proposed incentives for such things as historic preservation or amateur sporting events would have faced a filibuster threat from a group of fiscally conservative Republicans in the Senate. But the leaders of that group are gone, now, and perhaps that’s why this year’s amateur sports incentives bill was allowed to receive a Senate floor vote.
Republican Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit says the atmosphere has changed.
“We’re trying to work with the House to get overall reform,” says Kraus.
Kraus actually voted against tax breaks for amateur sporting events, but he also says it’s a small-sized bill that didn’t warrant a filibuster.
GOP Senator Eric Schmitt of St. Louis County sponsored a bill designed to bring amateur sporting events to Missouri.
“I think it sends a positive message, not just to the other chamber, but more importantly to the state and to these kinds of people, whether they’re businesses looking to locate here, businesses looking to stay here, or these events that we’re trying to attract,” says Schmitt.
The sponsor of a so-called benevolent tax credits bill, Republican Bob Dixon of Springfield, says he’s glad his bill was allowed a vote this year instead of being held hostage.
“Quite frankly, the folks that are helped with these were unfortunately held as leverage in order to get the larger economic development tax credit reform through the Senate and what happened was everything failed,” says Dixon.
The bill includes incentives for food pantries, widowed spouses of law enforcement officers, and the Children in Crisis program.