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Missouri Gov. Signs 'Jobs Now' Bill

July 12, 2004

New manufacturer training funds, enhanced enterprise zones, and new economic development infrastructure loans are among the incentives included in Missouri's Jobs Now legislation, signed into law by Gov. Bob Holden on July 8. Passage of key elements of the package was one of the governor's top priorities for the legislative session and was considered critical for securing the new 1,200-employee H&R Block headquarters in downtown Kansas City, according to local news reports.

During the signing ceremony, Gov. Holden noted the new economic incentives will benefit both community colleges and businesses. Jobs Now provides $15 million to help retrain existing workers to keep up with advanced technology upgrades. To be eligible for the retraining assistance, companies must have maintained at least 100 employees during the two years prior to being in the program. They also must make a capital investment of at least $1 million in long-term assets at the project location, such as buildings or equipment.

SB 1155 also calls for enhanced Enterprise Zones, areas marked by high unemployment and low personal income levels that can offer tax incentives to incoming or expanding businesses. In addition to local property tax abatement, businesses may be eligible for refundable state tax credits. Special eligibility considerations exist for counties with declining population or in areas affected by a natural disaster. The legislation also permits the creation of two more rural enterprise zones in the state.

Jobs Now also:

  • Increases the annual cap from $11 million to $15 million for the Business Use Incentives for Large-Scale Development (BUILD) program, which is designed to offer incentives to projects with over 100 new manufacturing jobs or 500 office jobs;
  • Provides up to $12 million to cities and counties for grants, or low or no-interest loans, for public infrastructure projects. Maximum loan size is $2 million; and,
  • Authorizes several counties and communities to impose new sales taxes of up to one-half percent, for non-retail-related economic development initiatives.

The full text of SB 1155 is available through the Missouri General Assembly at: http://www.house.state.mo.us/bills041/bills/sb1155.htm