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Ag groups urge legislature to extend tax incentives

The Missouri Farm Bureau is among the groups urging the General Assembly to renew a set of agricultural tax credits set to expire at the end of the year. 

The New Generation Cooperative Incentive Tax Credit, Meat Processing Facility Investment Tax Credit, and Agricultural Product Utilization Contributor Tax Credit are programs offered by the Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA) that sunset in 2021. BJ Tanksley, director of legislative affairs for the Farm Bureau, said the credits encouraged Missourians to take part in the agriculture industry. 

“The ag community is united on wanting to renew these tax credits,” Tanksley told The Missouri Times. “They’ve played a big role in agriculture as we know it in the state of Missouri — some of the recent successes from them include the ethanol and biodiesel industry in Missouri, where these types of programs have allowed producers and investors to come together and really grow the industry in a way that may not be able to happen otherwise.”

The New Generation credit grants a maximum of $15,000 or half the cash investment into a new facility with 12 members or less. The Meat Processing credit allows 25 percent of taxes paid on expansion or modernization efforts up to $75,000. Finally, the Agricultural Product Utilization Contributor Tax Credit grants an eligible applicant up to 100 percent of a contribution. 

Tanksley said the credits were a vital asset for growing and maintaining Missouri’s agricultural industry, and the sunsets and renewals were an important part of the process for the legislature.

“Missouri Farm Bureau has been supportive of putting sunsets on tax credits to make sure they’re serving their purpose,” he said. “It gives the legislature an opportunity to take a look at them and make sure they’re working as expected and evaluate the return on investment.”

One legislative effort meant to extend the credits comes in the form of SB 354 from Sen. Denny Hoskins, which seeks to set a new sunset of December 2027. 

“During the early stages of the COVID pandemic, we saw meat processing plants shut down across Missouri. This created a huge issue not only for livestock producers but consumers, too,” Hoskins told The Missouri Times. “Missouri needs access to these programs, and that’s why I’m working to ensure they do not expire at the end of this year. SB 354 simply extends the sunset on this much-needed resource for the folks who are providing safe, reliable, and affordable food for Missouri, our nation, and the world.”

The legislature renewed the Next Generation credit and other programs in 2016 with a Senate bill sponsored by Mike Parson during his last session as a legislator. A farmer himself, Parson has continued to identify agriculture and workforce development as priorities of his administration.