Busy Week for Tax Changes in Missouri Capitol

Two bills containing tax priorities of Associated Industries of Missouri received approval of the Senate, while another was heard in a House of Representatives committee this week. Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Will Kraus (R-Raytown) combined AIM’s top legislative priority, the “Broad-Based Tax Relief Act,” and two other bills into a $1.1 billion tax cut for Missouri taxpayers. “Associated Industries appreciates the hard work of Senator Eric Schmitt and Senator Kraus to relieve some of the tax burden on Missouri employers,” said Ray McCarty, president of AIM. “This bill represents the best kind of economic development because it lowers taxes for every current and future Missouri employer.” The Senate Ways and Means Committee combined several bills into SCS SB’s 26, 11 and 31. We continue to work with the sponsor on the details of the package. As passed by the committee, the bill would reduce corporation income taxes by 1.5 percent beginning with the 2014 tax year. S corporations,

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Senate Committee Approves AIM Tax Cut Bill

February 25 – The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Senator Will Kraus, rolled AIM’s Broad Based Tax Relief Act into a tax reduction package and approved the bill for further consideration by the full Missouri Senate. AIM’s tax cut proposal was originally filed by Senator Eric Schmitt as SB 11 and would have cut state income taxes for every Missouri business in half over 5 years.  The package would reduce corporation income taxes by 1.5% beginning with the 2014 tax year.  S corporations, partnerships, LLC’s, sole proprietors, and other business entities in which the tax liability flows through to the owners, partners or shareholders, would be entitled to a “business income deduction” of 10% beginning in 2014, 20% in 2015, 30% in 2016, 40% in 2017, and 50% in 2018 and future tax years.  In addition, the rate paid on taxes reported on individual income tax returns (including these types of business entities) would be reduced by 1.5%

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AIM Supports Resolution Asking Federal Government to Release DSH Payments

“DSH” payments, or “disproportionate share” payments, are currently used by hospitals and other healthcare providers to help offset the cost of uncompensated care – the cost of healthcare services provided to people that do not pay. Hospitals must treat people regardless of whether they receive payment.  When people receiving services do not pay, that cost is referred to as “uncompensated care.”  The federal government has historically provided money to providers to help offset the cost of uncompensated care which totaled $1.1 billion in Missouri in 2011.  The federal government, under authority of Obamacare, will cut these payments to healthcare providers by $3.4 billion over the next seven years.  A large portion of the cost for this uncompensated care will need to be recovered by healthcare providers through higher costs for healthcare services.  Employers will pay these costs either directly (for companies that are self-insured) or indirectly through higher insurance premiums. Two concurrent resolutions have been filed in the Missouri legislature to ask the federal government

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Missouri General Assembly considers two transportation funding bills

Two Missouri General Assembly committees heard public testimony this week on two resolutions that would put a one-cent sales tax before voters in November 2014. The legislation, filed by Representative Dave Hinson (R-St. Clair) and Senator Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), would ask voters to approve a one-cent sales tax to fill Missouri’s $700 million transportation funding shortfall. “Associated Industries of Missouri has not taken a position on the two sales tax increases,” said Ray McCarty, president of AIM. “Missouri is the United States’ highway hub. More than $12.2 billion worth of Missouri goods alone is exported from the state. That doesn’t include the additional billions of dollars from other states traveling through Missouri.” The House Transportation Committee, chaired by Rep. Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan), heard House Joint Resolution 23 Tuesday while the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Kehoe, met Wednesday morning to hear Senate Joint Resolution 16. Both pieces of legislation drew masses of support from the transportation community.

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Missouri House gives final approval to tax amnesty bill

The Missouri House of Representatives gave final approval this morning to a bill that would give amnesty to businesses that are delinquent on past tax bills. House Bill 55, filed by Representative Tom Flanigan (R-Carthage), would waive penalties and interest between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31 for companies that have not paid tax bills, but want to comply with state law. “Associated Industries of Missouri has supported the tax amnesty bill for the past three years,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of AIM. “This bill allows businesses the benefit of getting on the tax rolls without penalty, while providing the state the benefit of new taxpayers.” Past estimates show that approximately $75 million could be generated from the plan. The revenue generated from an amnesty period would help Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) and his colleagues present a stronger budget for Missouri’s next fiscal year. Governor Jay Nixon has supported the legislation which would give the

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AIM vs. Environmentalists on Costly EPA Coal Regulation

Associated Industries of Missouri President/CEO Ray McCarty speaks with Mike Ferguson on the “Missouri Viewpoint” television program about the impact of the EPA’s Utility MACT regulation in this video provided by Missouri News Horizon. AIM points out the EPA regulation is going to cost Missouri employers plenty – more than 6% of their current electricity costs according to the EPA. In a related story that ran just two weeks ago, officials with the Central Electric Cooperative held public meetings to discuss the future of the Chamois power generation plant.  The plant is a 72 MW coal-fired generation plant and one of the top reasons for the potential closing of the plant is the estimated $14 million in EPA regulation compliance costs.  Workers at the plant and local residents worry about the damage to the local economy from losing the power plant.

AIM work comp and unemployment priorities receive Senate approval

The Missouri Senate gave its final approval to Senate Bill 1 (Sen. Scott Rupp, R-St. Charles) and Senate Bill 28 (Sen. Will Kraus, R-Raytown) this morning to help Missouri employers with worker’s compensation and unemployment concerns. Senate Bill 1 contains important reforms for the Second Injury Fund and occupational disease costs that have long been a priority of Associated Industries of Missouri, while Senate Bill 28 addresses concerns toward employees who are dismissed for just reasons, yet qualify for unemployment. “Senate Bill 1 and 28 both help solve growing concerns,” said Ray McCarty, president of AIM. “While Senate Bill 1 is not what AIM originally set out to accomplish, the compromise the Senate approved does help AIM’s membership. Senate Bill 28 also addresses concerns that AIM has received from our members, including one employee who was dismissed for reading her supervisor’s private documents but received unemployment benefits despite her offenses. This is unacceptable.” Senate Bill 1, in its current form, ensures

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AIM summarizes President Obama’s State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address to a new Congress on Tuesday night. While addressing energy, defense, tax reform and guns, the president discussed the creation of manufacturing hubs similar to Associated Industries of Missouri’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence. “President Obama mentioned the formation of manufacturing innovation institutes similar to the one in Youngstown, Ohio and AIM’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence,” said Ray McCarty, president of AIM. “Associated Industries of Missouri and our federal partner the National Association of Manufacturers are excited to work with federal departments to promote manufacturing in Missouri through the Center of Manufacturing Excellence as one of those hubs.”  The president made several comments to the growth in the manufacturing sector which encouraged him to make the commitment to the manufacturing hubs. “Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing,” said Obama. “There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. So tonight,

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Missouri Senate OK’s Work Comp/Second Injury Fund Bill

The Missouri Senate last night gave first round approval to Senate Bill 1, a bill that addresses the Missouri Second Injury Fund.  The bill contains important reforms for the Second Injury Fund that have long been a priority of Associated Industries of Missouri. The bill would ensure coverage for “occupational diseases” under WC, but establishes special enhanced benefits for 10 diseases at around $156,000.  The bill then socializes the cost by paying the claims from Missouri’s Second Injury Fund.  The bill also allows mesothelioma victims an additional benefit of about $450,000 (total of $600,000), also paid from the Second Injury Fund.  To pay for these benefits, an additional Second Injury Fund surcharge with no limit will be assessed against every Missouri employer.  AIM will continue to work for positive changes in this part of the bill, including establishment of a reasonable cap on the amount of surcharge that may be assessed. The Second Injury Fund would be reformed by eliminating

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