Blunt Calls Special Session to Repair State Bridges and Pass Economic Development Legislation

Governor Matt Blunt made a proclamation Thursday August 16 calling Missouri Senators and Representatives back to Jefferson City for a special session starting at 1:00 pm August 20th.
Blunt’s message began with dialogue about the transportation infrastructure. At the top of his list was 800 bridges across the state in need of repair. He calls for a single contract construction project dubbed the Safe and Sound Bridge Program lasting for five years and beginning as soon as possible to repair the states bridges.
Blunt vetoed House Bill 327 during the session that ended just two months ago and said the bill would have broken his promise of “wise and prudent” spending. Blunt cites excessive and unquantifiable expense as his reason for crushing the economic development legislation. Blunt said filure to pass a prudent bill for economic development constitutes and immediate economic threat to the well-being of the economy of the state of Missouri.
Blunt asks for 35 changes to Missouri Law. Here's a brief overview:

Charitable Organization Assistance: Sections 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 21, 24, 28, 30, 32, 33 Adds charitable organizations requirement elegibility for a wide variety of tax credits through different state programs.

Ticket Scalping: Section 2, Prohibits a city or county from prohibiting the sales or resale of tickets for admission to any legal event at any price. Fees associated with the sale or resale should be permitted. Repeals ticket scalping as defined in section R 578.395

Tax Increment Financing
(TIF) : Sections 3,4,5 Defines the term “Greenfield” as it relates to TIF. Creates countywide TIF commissions for Jefferson County, St. Charles County, St. Louis County and Franklin County and prohibits new TIF projects within St. Louis and any county subject to the authority of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

Distressed Land Tax Credit: Section 6. Allows a tax credit for property development projects with a 75 acre minimum. Areas that qualify must be located in a Missouri HUD-qualified census tract or a Missouri distressed community. The program has a 10 million dollar per year cap.

Beef Cattle Tax Credit: Gives a tax credit for farmers who breed fatter cows. The legislation gives the Missouri Agricultural Small Business Development Authority the ability to waive up to 25 percent of the 200-pound added weight requirement in the event of a federally declared disaster. The bill would sunset before 2017.

New Market Tax Credit
: 16 Section 135.750 modifies eligibility requirements and adds $3 million to the annual cap on credits from $1.5 million to a 4.5 million max.

Film Production Tax Credit
: 17 Increases annual tax credit cap from $1.5 million to $4.5 million.

Enhanced Enterprise Zones: 18,19,20 Section 135.950 defines work requirement conditions for a person to be defined as an employee including health insurance and 1,000 minimum hours per year. Section 135.963 allows exemption for industrial or warehouse buildings contructed by a public entity or a private entity on land leased from a public entity. Section 135.967 increases cap on tax credits from $7 million to $14 million.

Raw Materials Used in Auto manufacturing: Allows a “rebuttable presumption that the raw materials used in auto manufacturing contain at least 25 percent recovered materials.

Schools: 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 Allows MO higher Education Scholarship Donation Fund credits to be sold and transferred and charitable organizations to definition. Allows for a Vocational School Districts in 11 Southeast Missouri counties. Allows a 20 year extension on the Community College New Job Training Program.

Quality Jobs Program
– Redefines and qualifies companies eligible with geographic perimeters and definitions for the term “employee” as well as wage and insurance provisions. Section 620.1881 would increase the annual tax credit cap from $12 million to $14 million.

The session also allows the Senate to consider appointments to boards, commissions, departments, divisions and other government bodies that require advice and consent of the Senate.