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MO Governor vetoes omnibus ag bill

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has vetoed the state’s omnibus ag bill that includes tax credits for biofuels manufactures, meat packers and young farmers.

Parson said Missouri House Bill 1720, sponsored by Rep. Brad Pollitt, only provided two-year extensions to the tax credits under the Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority which is ‘problematic’.

“Business owners and producers often need a minimum of 24 months in order to secure the equity and private investments needed for projects,” he said. “Let alone the aditional years needed to actually complete the projects.”

During a press conference Friday, he said taxpayers see a $2 to $3 return for every dollar invested in programs like this, but the short extension would place that return in jeopardy.

“We must extend these critical tax credits for a minimum of six years in order to ensure the effectiveness of the programs and to realize the full economic benefit to Missourians,” Parson said.

Parson pointed to similar tax credits being passed for longer terms for other industries and questioned why the same cannot be done for the state’s top economic industry in agriculture.

Parson said leading ag groups around the state are on board with the veto. In joint statement, seven ag groups say they are disappointed the tax credit program was only authorized for two more years instead of a normal period of six years. The groups say they support Parson’s call for a special session and will work with state legislators to fully extend the tax credits approved under HB 1720. The groups include the Missouri Agribusiness Association, Missouri Cattlemen’s, Missouri Corn Growers, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Forest Products Association, Missouri Pork, and the Missouri Soybean Association.

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