JEFFERSON, Mo. — House Bill 191 discussing implementation of new tax credit incentives, will be heard at 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon by the Economic Development committee in House Hearing Room 7.
Sponsored by Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Independence, this bill seeks to establish the Missouri Angel Incentive Act. According to the bill language, the primary goal of the Act is to encourage individuals, or ‘Angels,’ to provide seed-capital financing for emerging businesses throughout the state.
The bill also includes a maximum tax credit cap, including $50,000 for a single qualified Missouri business, and $250,000 in tax credits for a single year per investor who is “a natural person or owner of a permitted entity investor.” Additionally, the total amount of tax credits cannot exceed $6 million during any tax year.
In response to the Tax Commission’s report on the need to control tax credits, Gov. Jay Nixon said he is encouraged by the consensus to rein in expenditures that undermine the State’s ability to make vital investments in priorities like education and public safety.
Torpey said currently there are eight Small Business and Technology Development centers — which will administer the Missouri Angel Investment Act, according to the bill’s language — and because they’re all across the state, he said it tilts the people capable of benefitting the bill away from solely St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas to those looking to pursue a business all throughout Missouri.
“Long-term, if this legislation were to pass, it would benefit all of Missouri equally,” Torpey said.
Kansas City, a portion of which is within Torpey’s district, will, he said, potentially benefit slightly more because Kansas has already implemented a similar piece of legislation. He said the bill is a top priority for Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who will be attending the committee meeting Tuesday.
House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, said he and former minority leader Mike Talboy co-sponsored the same bill last year.
“This is a bill that has broad bipartisan support across the entire state of Missouri, and I continue to support it wholeheartedly,” Jones said.
As some of Missouri’s neighboring states have enacted similar Angel investor incentive opportunities during the last few years, Jones said he thinks it is to Missouri’s detriment to not pursue this legislation before more potential businesses are lured elsewhere.
“We are a great state for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Jones said. “The problem is when those incubated businesses get to a particular point, they’re lured away by our neighboring states that have the Angel Investor Act, and we lose them to that.”
Jones said he’s heard from Angel investors across the state about the positive impacts they think this bill would provide, with a small fiscal aspect.
“The return on investment of this bill, if we could pass it, would be a true job creating tool for the state,” Jones said.
Torpey said the language of this bill is almost identical to the one Jones and Talboy pushed last session, though he said there have been additional ideas mentioned that could lead to amendments during the future.
“This bill will carry its own merit,” he said. “I think it will speak for itself and pass, and I really think it will be popular on both sides.”
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.