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House approves medical manufacturing incentive


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The House has perfected a property tax reform bill that now includes a provision encouraging new or expanded medical manufacturing businesses to come to Missouri in the wake of COVID-19

The amendment to HB 1710, known as the “Mighty Missouri Medical Manufacturing Act,” would allow businesses already in the state or those relocating to Missouri to keep their withholding taxes for newly created jobs. These businesses would also be exempt from sales tax on purchases made to help with expansion. 

These exemptions would be granted to qualifying businesses expanding or creating jobs in Missouri deemed vital to the state’s health care system, including pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers and medical equipment and supplies manufacturers. 

The amendment was added by Rep. Steve Helms, a Republican representing part of Springfield, who serves as the chairman for the subcommittee on Health Care Reform and sits on various other committees pertaining to healthcare and insurance. Helms said the act was meant to help the state to recover in the face of economic and health impacts from the current pandemic. 

“As our state recovers from the impact of the coronavirus, we have both a need for medical equipment and supplies and new good-paying jobs for the many Missourians who are now looking for work,” Helms said in a statement. “With these common-sense, fiscally responsible incentives, we can make Missouri mighty again by encouraging businesses to expand, create new jobs, and provide the medical supplies we need.”

Helms argued the Mighty Missouri Medical Manufacturing Act would not cost the state in tax revenues given that the jobs that would see their withholding taxes kept by their expanding businesses do not exist yet. 

The act includes a sunset provision that would require reauthorization by the General Assembly after five years or otherwise phase out of practice. 

The amendment was added with bipartisan support and a vote of 98 to 38. HB 1710 as a whole was perfected by the House and must receive another positive vote before being passed to the Senate. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.