A bill in the Missouri Senate seeks to grow Missouri’s economy by helping businesses invest in research and development.
Sen. Brian Williams, a Democrat from University City, is sponsoring Senate Bill 688. The legislation would create a tax credit that businesses can use to offset the cost of research and development activities. The bill would allow businesses to claim a tax credit worth 15% of qualified expenses. If the research is conducted in collaboration with a Missouri college or university, businesses could claim a tax credit worth 20% of expenses.
During a January 25 hearing in the Senate Economic Development Committee, Sen. Williams said his bill would “encourage businesses to grow research and development programs and increase workforce opportunities right here in the state of Missouri.”
“If the state encouraged this kind of investment — not to mention the benefit it would have coming out of a pandemic — I believe that it would really put our state on the right track,” he said.
Sen. Williams said that most states, including six states bordering Missouri, already have a similar tax credit in place. He also noted how his legislation would help minorities and economically-disadvantaged Missourians.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a leading proponent of the measure. In his testimony in support of the bill, Missouri Chamber Director of Legislative Affairs Ross Lien said that the bill would help spur research and development growth in Missouri, with a special focus on growing Missouri’s technology industry. The legislation is supported by the Missouri Chamber Technology Alliance.
Lien noted that Missouri is currently projected to be a top 10 state for technology industry growth. The state is also a leader in women in diversity in the technology industry, according to the Missouri Chamber’s Technology 2030 report.
Senate Bill 688 now awaits a vote in the Senate Economic Development Committee.
In the Missouri House, a similar bill is being considered by the House Economic Development Committee. House Bill 1579, filed by Rep. Don Mayhew, a Republican from Crocker, was heard on January 27 and now awaits a vote in the committee.
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