JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A pair of bills in the Missouri House seek to bolster businesses impacted by shutdowns over the past year through a tax credit.
House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Dean Plocher’s HB 1406 and HB 1407 would authorize a state income tax credit for eligible businesses that faced a shutdown from a political subdivision over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of the credit would be based on real and personal property tax liability and the number of days exceeding two weeks that the business was closed during the declared state of emergency and would be capped at $50,000 per year, with excess carrying forward.
Plocher presented the bills before the House Ways and Means Committee this week, touting the credit as a way to offset the impact closures have had on small businesses.
“I think our small businesses have been disproportionately impacted with this pandemic,” Plocher said. “I don’t think the government should be able to force you to shut down while also collecting taxes that you shouldn’t have to pay, and that’s the commonsense element to this bill.”
Matthew Panik, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke in favor of the legislation during the hearing.
“I think it’s wise to take a look at what businesses should be responsible for if they can’t operate their business,” Panik said. “This is a measured approach. This does not say that counties can’t have a mask mandate or capacity restrictions, but if they do go ahead and shut down a business and don’t let that business operate, there are some consequences.”
Representatives from several organizations, including the Missouri Soybean Association and the Missouri Restaurant Association, also spoke in favor of the credits. No one spoke in opposition.
According to Panik, two-thirds of businesses said they expected an impact on revenue, half experienced temporary layoffs, and more than half expected a decline in revenue of at least 20 percent.
The chamber has also come out in support of another bill from Plocher that would waive business fees during a shutdown.
The committee did not take action on the bill this week.