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Title X TAXATION AND REVENUE

Chapter 135

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  135.968.  Megaprojects, tax credit authorized, eligibility — department duties — binding contract required, when — issuance of credits, procedure. — 1.  A taxpayer who establishes a megaproject, approved by the department, within an enhanced enterprise zone shall, in exchange for the consideration provided by new tax revenues and other economic stimuli that will be generated from the new jobs created by the megaproject, be allowed an income tax credit equal to the percentage of actual new annual payroll of the taxpayer attributable to employees directly related to the manufacturing and assembly process and administration, as provided under subsection 4 of this section.  A taxpayer seeking approval of a megaproject shall submit an application to the department.  The department shall not approve any megaproject after December 31, 2008.  The department shall not approve any credits for megaprojects to be issued prior to January 1, 2013, and in no event shall the department authorize more than forty million dollars to be issued annually for all megaprojects.  The total amount of credits issued under this section shall not exceed two hundred forty million dollars.

  2.  In considering applications for approval of megaprojects, the department may approve an application if:

  (1)  The taxpayer's project is financially sound and the taxpayer has adequately demonstrated an ability to successfully undertake and complete the megaproject.  This determination shall be supported by a professional third-party market feasibility analysis conducted on behalf of the state by a firm with direct experience with the industry of the proposed megaproject, and by a professional third-party financial analysis of the taxpayer's ability to complete the project;

  (2)  The taxpayer's plan of repayment to the state of the amount of tax credits provided is reasonable and sound;

  (3)  The taxpayer's megaproject will create new jobs that were not jobs previously performed by employees of the taxpayer or a related taxpayer in Missouri;

  (4)  Local taxing entities are providing a significant level of incentives for the megaproject relative to the projected new local tax revenues created by the megaproject;

  (5)  There is at least one other state or foreign country that the taxpayer verifies is being considered for the project, and receiving megaproject tax credits is a major factor in the taxpayer's decision to go forward with the project and not receiving the credit will result in the taxpayer not creating new jobs in Missouri;

  (6)  The megaproject will be located in an enhanced enterprise zone which constitutes an economic or social liability and a detriment to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use;

  (7)  The completion of the megaproject will serve an essential public municipal purpose by creating a substantial number of new jobs for citizens, increasing their purchasing power, improving their living conditions, and relieving the demand for unemployment and welfare assistance thereby promoting the economic development of the enhanced enterprise zone, the municipality, and the state; and

  (8)  The creation of new jobs will assist the state in providing the services needed to protect the health, safety, and social and economic well-being of the citizens of the state.

  3.  Prior to final approval of an application, a binding contract shall be executed between the taxpayer and the department of economic development which shall include, but not be limited to:

  (1)  A repayment plan providing for cash payment to the state general revenue fund which shall result in a positive internal rate of return to the state and fully comply with the provisions of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.  The rate of return shall be commercially reasonable and, over the life of the project, exceed one hundred and fifty percent of the state's borrowing costs based on the AAA-rated twenty-year tax-exempt bond rate average over a twenty-year borrowing period.  The rate shall be verified by a professional third-party financial analysis;

  (2)  The taxpayer's obligation to construct a facility of at least one million square feet within five years from the date of approval;

  (3)  A requirement that the issuance of tax credits authorized under this section shall cease and the taxpayer shall immediately submit payment, to the state general revenue fund, in an amount equal to all credits previously issued less any amounts previously repaid, increased by an additional amount that shall provide the state a reasonable rate of return, in the event the taxpayer:

  (a)  Fails to construct a facility of at least one million square feet within five years of the date of approval;

  (b)  Fails to make a scheduled payment as required by the repayment plan; or

  (c)  Fails to compensate new jobs at rate equal to or in excess of the county average wage or fails to offer health insurance to all such new jobs and pay at least eighty percent of such premiums; and

  (4)  A requirement that the department shall suspend issuance of tax credits authorized under this section if, at any point, the total amount of tax credits issued less the total amount of repayments received equals one hundred and fifty-five million dollars.

  4.  Upon approval of an application by the department, tax credits shall be issued annually for a period not to exceed eight years from the commencement of commercial operations of the megaproject.  The eight-year period for the issuance of megaproject tax credits may extend beyond the expiration of the enhanced enterprise zone.  The maximum percentage of the annual payroll of the taxpayer for new jobs located at the megaproject which may be approved or issued by the department for tax credits shall not exceed:

  (1)  Eighty percent for the first three years that tax credits will be issued for the megaproject;

  (2)  Sixty percent for the next two subsequent years;

  (3)  Fifty percent for the next two subsequent years; and

  (4)  Thirty percent for the remaining year.

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In no event shall the department issue more than forty million dollars annually in megaproject tax credits to any taxpayer.  In any given year, the amount of tax credits issued shall be the lesser of forty million dollars, the applicable annual payroll percentage, or the amount of tax credits remaining unissued under the two hundred forty million dollar limitation on megaproject tax credit issuance provided under subsection 1 of this section.

  5.  Tax credits issued under this section may be claimed against the tax imposed by chapter 143, excluding withholding tax imposed by sections 143.191 to 143.265. For taxpayers with flow-through tax treatment of its members, partners, or shareholders, the credit shall be allowed to members, partners, or shareholders in proportion to their share of ownership on the last day of the taxpayer's tax period.  The director of revenue shall issue a refund to a taxpayer to the extent the amount of credits allowed in this section exceeds the amount of the taxpayer's income tax liability in the year redemption is authorized.  An owner of tax credits issued under this section shall not be required to have any Missouri income tax liability in order to redeem such tax credits and receive a refund.  The director of revenue shall prepare a form to permit the owner of such tax credits to obtain a refund.

  6.  Certificates of tax credits authorized under this section may be transferred, sold, or assigned by filing a notarized endorsement thereof with the department that names the transferee, the amount of tax credit transferred, and the value received for the credit, as well as any other information reasonably requested by the department.  Upon such transfer, sale, or assignment, the transferee shall be the owner of such tax credits entitled to claim the tax credits or any refunds with respect thereto issued to the taxpayer.  Tax credits may not be carried forward past the year of issuance.  Tax credits authorized by this section may not be pledged or used to secure any bonds or other indebtedness issued by the state or any political subdivision of the state.  Once such tax credits have been issued, nothing shall prohibit the owner of the tax credits from pledging the tax credits to any lender or other third party.

  7.  Any taxpayer issued tax credits under this section shall provide an annual report to the department and the house and senate appropriations committees of the number of new jobs located at the megaproject, the new annual payroll of such new jobs, and such other information as may be required by the department to document the basis for benefits under this section.  The department may withhold the approval of the annual issuance of any tax credits until it is satisfied that proper documentation has been provided, and shall reduce the tax credits to reflect any reduction in new payroll.  If the department determines the average wage is below the county average wage, or the taxpayer has not maintained employee health insurance as required, the taxpayer shall not receive tax credits for that year.

  8.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any taxpayer who is awarded tax credits under this section shall not also receive tax credits under sections 135.100 to 135.150, sections 135.200 to 135.286, section 135.535, or sections 620.1875 to 620.1890.

  9.  Any action brought in any court contesting the approval of a megaproject and the issuance of the tax credits, or any other action undertaken pursuant to this section related to such megaproject, shall be filed within ninety days following approval of the megaproject by the department.

  10.  Records and documents relating to a proposed megaproject shall be deemed closed records until such time as the application has been approved.  Provisions of this subsection to the contrary notwithstanding, records containing business plan information which may endanger the competitiveness of the business shall remain closed.

  11.  Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, no taxpayer who receives megaproject tax credits authorized under this section or any related taxpayer shall employ, prior to January 1, 2022, directly:

  (1)  Any elected public official of this state holding office as of January 1, 2008;

  (2)  Any director, deputy director, division director, or employee directly involved in negotiations between the department of economic development and a taxpayer relative to the megaproject who was employed as of January 1, 2008, by the department.

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(L. 2008 H.B. 2393)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2008 ----

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