What started out as a simple, straightforward (if such a thing is possible in the Missouri Legislature) bill to enhance the state's Quality Jobs Act turned into a boondoggle that deserved Governor Matt Blunt's veto, according to an op-ed written by Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit. In addition to the much-noted provision that would have provided millions of dollars to St. Louis developer Paul McKee, Bartle noted that the bill contained tax breaks left and right, including these:
There is a tax credit for aviation fuel for airlines' transoceanic flights. The problem is that there are no such fights originating in Missouri. This provision could cost our regional airports $400,000 when airlines claim the exemption for flights that merely connect with transoceanic flights in non-Missouri cities.
HB 327 also offers a tax credit of a dime for each pound a beef cow weighs above 450 pounds. Don't hold your breath for a reduction in the cost of beef at your local grocery store. The bill gives Hollywood filmmakers a $10 million tax credit — as if Hollywood filmmakers need a free pass on taxes any more than Missouri companies.
One of the most egregious provisions in HB 327 puts Missouri taxpayers on the line to finance the operation of a private business featuring a train ride along abandoned tracks, complete with a dinner theater. The bill also gives this Colorado company something only government ought to have — the right to use eminent domain to accomplish its purposes. If HB 327 becomes law, Missourians could have land taken away while this Colorado company reaps the profits, thanks in part to a Missouri tax credit.