JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A bill designed to reclaim businesses that have left the state and better Missouri’s port infrastructure was signed into law by Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday.
The “Bring Jobs Home Act,” sponsored by Rep. John McCaherty, R-High Ridge, and handled by Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, was attached to Wieland’s SB 861 after four years of trying to enact such legislation. The measure would allow up to a 50 percent tax deduction on relocation costs for businesses that have left the state to move back to Missouri.
“I know we have seen many businesses relocate out of the state because of better offers. I believe the ‘Bring Jobs Home Act’ will give us a powerful tool to help attract some of these businesses to come back with the family-supporting jobs they provide,” McCaherty said in a statement.
That deduction, however, is contingent on the company staying for at least 10 years. If a company were to leave again, they may have to reimburse the state for the full cost of the tax deduction. The deduction also caps at $5 million.
The underlying bill also had other economic development provisions, most prominently, Wieland’s port bill. The provisions in that bill would give companies incentives for using Missouri’s port system like deductions for companies that increase their use of Missouri ports, make a new deduction for jobs created at international trade facilities, or build new facilities within a port district.
The most impactful part of the bill would create advanced manufacturing zones, the revenue from which would be funneled directly into Missouri’s port system, which has experienced a renewed interest at the Capitol, largely thanks to the efforts of Wieland and Rep. Becky Ruth, who last interim chaired a committee focusing on improving Missouri’s port infrastructure.
“We have a unique opportunity to become a national leader in shipping goods by waterway,” Wieland said in May when the bill made it through the House. “This legislation would create a dedicated funding source and encourage more businesses to ship their goods by port. It’s a carefully crafted measure designed to give our ports the support they need to continue creating jobs.”