- Plans in the works to save Esquire Theater on Broadway in Cape (2/21/18)2
- Man transitioning to woman killed herself in Cape City Jail in June; news comes from architect's pitch in Kansas (2/15/18)2
- Bell City arrest, Scott City incident highlight high-alert status following Fla. school shooting (2/20/18)4
- Cape Girardeau businessman proposes redevelopment project; seeks taxing district to fund improvements (2/17/18)16
- TJ's Burgers, Wings & Pizza expands with dining area in Fruitland (2/16/18)
- Pence gets it right in response to attack on Christian faith (2/17/18)11
- As February winds down, Chaffee looking forward to reopening of ice cream shop (2/21/18)1
- Scott City puts school on lockdown; officials say alleged threat 'not credible' (2/21/18)2
- The heart of the matter: Clinic helps patients rise above congestive heart failure (2/17/18)
- Local foodies share most romantic places (2/22/18)
Economic-development incentives play an enormous role in the expansion of Missouri's business and industrial base.
Thanks to tax credits and other programs offered in recent years, the state's employment has grown and tax revenue has exceeded projections.
Nonetheless, excessive programs that provide incentives beyond the scope of a prudent and affordable program are unacceptable.
And for that reason Gov. Matt Blunt recently vetoed this year's major economic-development legislation, House Bill 327.
He has already met with legislative leaders in an effort to get a consensus on a reasonable and effective bill that could be adopted in a special session.
The governor's major concern about HB 327 was it's cost. In his budget message at the start of the year, Blunt called for a package of incentives that would cost $50 million to $70 million.
What the legislature adopted was a program with cost estimates in excess of $200 million, a figure Blunt believes is fiscally irresponsible.
In addition, HB 327 included language that would have given tax incentives to businesses that paid below-average wages and did not provide health insurance.
That, the governor said in a telephone conference call with newspaper editorial writers last week, was not the intent of any economic-development program he could support.
Other concerns listed by Blunt in his veto message included authorization for the creation of regional railroad authorities that would give some eminent domain and taxing powers to unelected officials.
And another problem with HB 327 was language that conflicted with Senate Bill 30, which he has signed, regarding local sales-tax exemptions for energy sources used in manufacturing. SB 30 grants the local exemptions, while HB 327 did not.
This raised a serious concern for both Cape Girardeau and Cape Girardeau County, which estimated they could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales-tax revenue if HB 327's provisions prevailed.
What's needed now is for legislative leaders to work as expediently as possible to come to an understanding with the governor on an affordable economic-development package that continues to boost business development while protecting the workers who will take advantage of new jobs.