The landscape of credits and incentives that can be offered to businesses in Missouri is about to undergo a seismic shift. Starting August 28, 2013, the bedrock programs that have been around for years – Quality Jobs Program, Enhanced Enterprise Zone, Development Tax Credits, and Rebuilding Communities Tax Credits – will be replaced by the new Missouri Works Program.
Those businesses already participating in the discontinued programs can continue to receive all benefits approved by the state, but no new incentives under those programs will be available.
The Missouri Works Program is designed to have lower thresholds, provide greater potential benefits, and utilize consistent definitions, procedures, and reporting requirements. But the more the programs change, the more they remain the same. The same types of businesses that were previously excluded (e.g. gambling and most retail businesses) are still excluded. And in order to participate, businesses still need to meet certain wage requirements, offer health insurance, and pay at least one-half of the cost of the insurance.
The emphasis of the Missouri Works Program is on job creation and retention. The Quality Jobs Program required most employers to add 40 new employees within a two year period to qualify (fewer required in rural areas and for high-tech businesses), but the new Missouri Works Program can be accessed by companies adding as few as 2 new employees.
Perhaps the biggest change is that economic development authorities now have the discretion to offer some benefits (the retention of withholding taxes) to companies for retaining jobs within the state. Capped at $6 million per year, these benefits are available for eligible companies who retain at least 50 jobs for a period of 10 years, and make new capital investment at the facility in an amount equal to 50% of the total benefits offered to the company.
For new jobs in the state, the eligibility criteria are as follows:
|Program||Minimum new jobs||Minimum
|Zone Works1||2||$100,000||80% of county average wage||5 – 6 years of state withholding taxes|
|Rural Works2||2||$100,000||90% of county average wage||5 – 6 years of state withholding taxes|
|Statewide Works||10||n/a||90% of county average wage||5 – 6 years of state withholding taxes|
|Mega Works 120||100||n/a||120% of county average wage||6% of new payroll, for 5 – 6 years|
|Mega Works 140||100||n/a||140% of county average wage||7% of new payroll, for 5 – 6 years|
1 Must be located in an Enhanced Enterprise Zone.
2 Must be in a “rural” county – Not available in Boone, Buchanan, Clay, Greene, Jackson, St. Charles counties, and St. Louis city and county
Additional discretionary benefits are available for the latter 3 of the above programs.
To learn more, or find out if your business might benefit from the new Missouri Works Program, please contact your MarksNelson professional at 816-743-7700.