House committee approves tax credit for companies investing in U.S.-China hub in St. Louis

The House Economic Development committee passed a bill that would provide tax credits to international cargo shippers bringing business to St. Louis.

The tax credits include an 8 year exemption on outbound international cargo flights leaving St. Louis as well as tax breaks on facilities being built around the airport to house imports and exports.

The bill sponsor, Rep. Caleb Jones, R-California, said the tax credits would create an incentive for cargo shippers to choose St. Louis over Chicago as a place of business.

Jones said Lambert has the capacity to be a great investment for shippers.

“And if we in the Missouri Assembly do not grab this opportunity with both hands, we are going to lose it to another state,” Jones said.

No one spoke in opposition to the bill, which was passed by the committee by a vote of 20-0. There was, however, discussion about whether or not the program should extend to Kansas City.

Other bill supporters included the AFL-CIO and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, the sponsor of the Senate bill, said the Chinese government supports the opportunity in St. Louis and that the economic benefit would extend throughout Missouri and stressed the need for Missouri to provide an incentive.

“If we don’t act on this, other states will,” Schmitt said.

The bill will go to the House Rules Committee for a final vote before proceeding to the House floor.

– Missouri Digital News