Monday, February 6

Rural Missouri watches as Parson considers veto of tax credit plan | Politics

Gov. Mike Parson at his cattle farm near Bolivar, Missouri, on Sept. 8, 2018. 

JEFFERSON CITY — Although Gov. Mike Parson is a cattle farmer and a major supporter of agriculture, he is considering wielding his veto pen on a package of tax credits designed to help rural Missouri.

With the governor planning to issue a round of vetoes on Friday, the legislation’s demise would put several rural tax credits in jeopardy after they were allowed to expire in January.

The legislation would reauthorize tax credits for young farmers, meat packing facilities, the charcoal-making industry, ethanol retailers and biodiesel producers.

At issue for Parson is that the legislation approved by the House and Senate doesn’t extend the tax credits for a long enough period of time. His office would not confirm this week whether a veto is imminent.

Under the legislation, the tax credits would expire in two years. Parson, before legislators adjourned in May, had called for a six-year sunset provision.

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The measure was sponsored in the House by Rep. Brad Pollitt, R-Sedalia, who said farmers need a lot of tax credits and incentives to keep providing products from their farms to markets.

A nonpartisan fiscal analysis shows the credits could cost the state’s general revenue fund up to $40 million.

Farm groups also were pressing for a longer time shelf life for the tax credits.

“We are disappointed the Legislature did not extend the programs for the full six years, but we are appreciative of the work they were able to accomplish. We know that Governor Parson will keep the best interests of farmers and ranchers in mind when reviewing the agriculture omnibus bill,” said Eric Bohl, spokesman for the Missouri Farm Bureau.

Mike Deering, who oversees the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, said he would not guess what Parson might do with the legislation.

“I am not going to speculate on what gets a signature and what doesn’t. I do know Gov. Mike Parson is a farmer and has always been a friend to farm and ranch families in this state. That’s not going to change,” said Deering, who campaigned with Parson in the 2020 election.

The legislation is House Bill 1720.

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