JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri senators blocked a vote on a tax credit aimed at bringing amateur sporting events to Missouri and challenged the state's existing tax incentives.
Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, and Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield, blocked the proposed new tax credit and said they were frustrated with Missouri's current economic incentives.
"We have always used tax credits in the past to create jobs and stimulate the economy. We have now back slided so far that now we have to pass tax credit bills just to keep the jobs we have," Purgason said.
Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-St. Louis County, sponsored the amateur sporting events tax credit, which was a part of the economic development package that failed in a special session last year.
"This one [tax credit] is soundly based on actually what people will spend and the revenue that is generated for this state," Schmitt said.
The bill would award a $5 tax credit per ticket sold at an amateur sporting event. The credit would be capped at $3 million a year.
Missouri currently spends more than $500 million a year on tax incentives and is expected to redeem $685 million worth of tax credits in 2013. Last year's special session was derailed over a disagreement between the House and the Senate on how to scale back existing tax credits, including the low income housing program and the historic preservation credit (two of the state's most expensive).
The plan for last year's special session was to scale back those and other existing tax credits in order to create new ones, such as a $360 million incentive for a proposed international trade hub in St. Louis.
In his effort to block the new tax credit, Crowell criticized the state's tax incentives and Gov. Jay Nixon's jobs record.
"I would love to see any kind of studies to compare all of the press releases jobs Jay Nixon has announced since he has become governor to the real jobs that have been created," Crowell said.
Nixon's spokesperson Scott Holste said they generally do not comment on things that are said on the floor of either legislative chamber, but the state's declining unemployment rate since Nixon took office speaks for itself.
The Senate laid the bill over with no timetable for when it would be considered again.