The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation that would require local elections authorities to phase out the use of some electronic voting machines. Under the bill, voters could only use electronic machines that produce a paper trail of marked votes. All other types of electronic voting machines currently in use for elections could still be used, but could not be replaced once they malfunction.
The legislation given first-round approval Monday also declares the paper ballot as the official ballot of Missouri elections. It needs one more Senate vote before moving to the House.
The Missouri House has endorsed the creation of several new tax breaks intended to lure high-tech businesses and foreign trade to the state.
House members gave initial approval Wednesday to a bill authorizing $60 million of tax credits for international exporters over the next eight years. They also gave initial approval to bills creating tax credits for investors in high-tech startup businesses and authorizing state and local sales tax breaks for computer data centers.
Sponsored by Eric Schmitt of St. Louis County, the Missouri Export Incentive Act would create some new tax incentives, and put caps on others. The bill creating new tax credits cleared a Senate committee Wednesday.
The bulk of the bill is dedicated to tax credits for technology facilities and data storage centers. Exporters and self-employed Missourians also would benefit.
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. Scott Baker, State Director of the Missouri Food Bank Association, testified today in favor of renewing the incentives. He says according to the USDA, Missouri has the nation’s 7th highest food insecurity rate.
Monday was the first full day that Missouri lawmakers in both chambers can pre-file bills for next year’s regular session. Much of the legislation pre-filed in the State Senate so far deals with tax credits:
A Columbia man has been indicted on allegations that he tried to fraudulently claim a state tax break meant for lower-income disabled residents and senior citizens.
The Cole County indictment accuses 27-year-old Christopher Hill of one felony count of filing a false state income tax return. The charge is punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and five years in prison.
The Missouri Department of Revenue said Wednesday that Hill attempted to file a forged rent receipt with his 2011 taxes in order to claim the tax credit.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded state tax credits to five small business incubators on Monday. The Life Science Business Incubation Center in Columbia was awarded a $100,000 in tax credits.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced earlier this week that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri has been approved for state tax credits. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri received $102,782 in state tax credits under the Department of Economic Development’s Youth Opportunities Program.
The Missouri Senate has passed a tax credit measure after hammering out an agreement between GOP leaders and fiscal conservatives who’ve been trying to reign in tax breaks for years.
The agreement would cap historic preservation tax credits at $75 million per year, give a one-year extension to food pantry and other charitable tax breaks, and create incentives to draw amateur sporting events to Missouri. State Senator Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale) urged the chamber to pass it before time runs out on the regular session.