House committee passes bills to make capital more accessible for rural businesses
On March 28, a House committee passed the Rural Workforce Development Act, legislation creating a tax credit for certain investments made in rurally-located Missouri businesses. Rural entrepreneurs in Missouri often struggle to find investment capital to start up or expand their companies.
To qualify to receive investment capital, Missouri businesses would need to have fewer than 250 employees and be located in a county with a population of less than 100,000.
On the investor side, eligible investment companies would apply through the Missouri Dept. of Economic Development and propose to create a certain number of jobs. The tax credit would be equal to a percentage of their capital investment — zero for the first two years and then 15 percent for the following four years.
The state would reap a net gain from the program, Eggleston explained, because the created jobs would generate more income tax and sales tax revenue than the amount of the awarded tax credit.
This legislation aligns with the workforce development recommendations in the Missouri Chamber Foundation’s Workforce2030 Report, which found that Missouri ranks 30th in job growth and that the state’s rural areas in particular are still struggling to return to pre-recession job levels.