Greetings Friends of the 144th!
This past weekend I attended Trade Day at Timber, Mo for the first time. Let me tell you what an experience that was! If you have not ever been there but enjoy our back hills rural way of life you would enjoy walking around all the booths. If you ever decide to go get there early. I arrived at 8:00 am and the cars and trucks were already lined up and down highway 19 as far as I could see. I’m told people start arriving at 5:30. This is definitely the sportsman dream day. There were more guns, ammo, knives and hunting dogs than I have ever seen in one place. Amongst other things such as chickens, work boots, hunting clothes and other gear. Many locals were just walking around with their riffle on their shoulder looking for someone to trade or sell it to. There was a BB shooting match for the youngsters, gun raffles, and plenty of home baked/canned goods. My favorite part of the day was listening to a father of two boys tell about the conversation between them on the ride to trade day. These boys 12 and 13 have been coming to trade day for many years. This year they told their dad, “Dad, we just love trade day. It’s better than other day. It’s better than all the holidays, even Christmas!” They are making memories to last a lifetime.
House Advances Measure to Support Missouri Farmers (HB 3)
Lawmakers returned to the State Capitol building this week to give their support to legislation that will support and promote key areas of Missouri’s agriculture industry. House members approved HB 3 as part of the special legislative session called by Gov. Mike Parson.
Parson called us into special session after vetoing HB 1720, which created and renewed a number of agriculture incentives that would sunset after two years. Parson asked lawmakers to return to Jefferson City to approve a version of the bill that would give the programs a six-year sunset.
The bill approved this week by the House extends and creates several agriculture tax credit programs. The sunset for each program would be for a minimum of six years. If approved by both chambers and signed into law by the governor, the bill would:
-Extend the expiration of the meat processing facility investment tax credit;
-Create a tax credit program for retail dealers of higher ethanol blend fuels;
-Create a tax credit program for retail dealers of biodiesel;
-Create a tax credit program for Missouri biodiesel producers;
-Create a tax credit program for establishing or improving urban farming operations;
-Extend the expiration of the Rolling Stock Tax Credit program;
-Extend the expiration of the Agricultural Product Utilization Contributor Tax Credit;
-Extend the expiration of the New Generation Cooperative Incentive Tax Credit;
-Exempt utility vehicles for agriculture use from state and local sales and use taxes;
-Create the Specialty Agricultural Crops Act; and
-Amend the Family Farms Act to modify the definition of small farmer.
This bill is tailored right now towards family farms and smaller businesses. Agriculture is a self-sufficient industry but could use assistance now because of rising interest rates, greatly increased input costs, and drought conditions in some parts of the state. The stars appear to be lining up as they did in the late 70s and early 80s in what was considered the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression for agriculture.
The bill approved by the House contains all of the provisions called for by Gov. Parson. The House did add an additional four provisions that technically fall outside the governor’s call. The four provisions pertain to land surveys, commercial log trucking, anhydrous ammonia, and the state’s soybean producer’s assessment. Lawmakers believe the governor will expand the special session call to allow the four additional provisions.
It has a price tag of $40 million for an agriculture industry that generates $94 billion in economic activity. Agriculture is one of the state’s top revenue producers. One out of every 10 jobs in Missouri is related to the agriculture industry.
This bill gives small businesses, the small farms, an opportunity to compete in the arena with the big farms and the big businesses. We are trying to do what’s best for the small business farmers in our state.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. The Senate sent identical legislation (SB 8) to the House this week. The two chambers will work on the bills next week with the hope of sending one or both of them to the governor to be signed into law.
Senate Sends Tax Cut Plan to House (SB 3)
The members of the Senate also met this week to work on a tax cut plan that will allow Missourians to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. The tax cut was called for by Gov. Mike Parson, who asked legislators to help Missourians keep more of their hard-earned dollars.
Parson asked legislators to reduce the individual income tax rate, increase the standard deduction, and further simplify the tax code. His proposal would reduce the top individual income tax rate from 5.3 to 4.8 percent. It would also increase the standard deduction for individuals by $2,000 and by $4,000 for married joint filers, and eliminate the bottom income tax bracket.
The plan approved by the Senate would reduce the state’s top tax rate to 4.95 percent. It would also add four future reductions that would be triggered by revenue growth. If fully implemented, the Senate plan would make the top tax rate 4.5 percent. The Senate bill does not increase the standard deduction as requested by Gov. Parson with his special session call.
The bill now moves to the House where members will have the opportunity to pass the bill in its current form or make changes that will require further negotiation with the Senate. The House is expected to take the bill up next week.
Veto Session Concludes
While we were back in Jefferson City to convene for special session, we also wrapped up work on our annual veto session. Veto session gives lawmakers the opportunity to consider override motions to put bills into effect as law despite the governor’s objections. This year the House and Senate had three vetoed House Bills and one vetoed Senate Bill to consider, as well as line-item vetoes in eight appropriations bills. House and Senate members chose not to attempt any veto overrides on the first day of veto session, which was held September 14. The annual veto session officially concluded on September 21 when lawmakers again opted not to attempt overrides on any of the governor’s vetoes.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you might have. As your Representative I am here to assist you however I can. I can be reached by email at Chris.Dinkins@house.mo.gov or by phone at 573-751-2112.
Chris Dinkins is the area’s state representative for the 144th Legislative District. She can be reached by email Chris.Dinkins@house.mo.gov or by telephone: 573-751-2112.