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State business organizations weigh in with legislative agendas

State business organizations weigh in with legislative agendas

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The Missouri 2007 legislative session convenes Jan. 3, and the state’s leading business organizations have set their agendas for the coming year. Some highlights:

Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The agenda of Missouri’s largest statewide employer organization includes:
Protecting employers from litigation involving asbestos claims; seat belt law violations; third-party liability; employer references; wrongful discharge claims; expert testimony; comparative fault in injury cases; and joint and several liability.

Promoting economic development by encouraging entrepreneurship; cultivating small business growth; modifying the state’s job creation incentive program and the enhanced enterprise zone program; eliminating the corporation franchise tax; protecting successful job-training programs; investing in the high-tech and life-sciences industries; and supporting a modest state new markets tax credit.

Improving education by revising Missouri’s P-12 Grade Level Expectations for mathematics and science; creating new scholarship programs to motivate students to pursue degrees in math, science, engineering and technology; recruiting and retaining high-quality educators; increasing the use of technology in classrooms; advocating alternative certification of educators and business leaders; supporting college and university incubators; raising the high school drop-out age to 18; and creating a partnership between the business and education communities.

Addressing the health care crisis from the employer perspective, including supporting consumer-driven solutions to control costs; reducing health care costs by implementing health information technology; implementing a “healthy Missouri” program; expanding consumer health care education; making limited benefit plans available to small businesses; avoiding misguided reforms and mandates; and promoting life sciences.

Promoting state tax system reform, including eliminating the corporation franchise tax; phasing in full deductibility of the federal income tax; maintaining point-of-sale as the sales tax sourcing method; shifting the burden of proof to the director of revenue when ascertaining the liability of a taxpayer; legalizing the advertisement of sales-tax sales; opposing the proposed state tax “add back” rule; and opposing the removal or limiting of sales tax exemptions.

For more details about these issues and the chamber’s positions on tourism, arts funding, transportation, and unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance, visit mocc.harvestmanager.net.

Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) and Taxpayer Research Institute of Missouri (TRIM)

The Taxpayers Research Institute of Missouri (TRIM) has testified before the Joint Committee on Tax Policy and indicates that it will support:
Lower taxes for Missouri employers;
Exemption of all energy used in manufacturing from sales and use taxes;
Exemption of equipment and machinery purchased for use in research and development in Missouri from sales and use taxes;
Reduction of the sales and use tax rate;
Reduction or elimination of corporation income and corporation franchise taxes;
Full deductibility of federal income taxes paid from Missouri taxable income for individuals and corporations;
Revision of the income tax law to ensure taxpayers do not permanently lose the tax benefit because of the temporary decoupling of Missouri’s tax code from federal net operating loss and accelerated depreciation tax cut provision;
Eliminating the 120-day “no interest” rule on sales and use tax refunds, aligning the interest rate charged for delinquencies with the interest rate paid on refunds, and paying interest from the date the tax was originally paid by the taxpayer;
Aligning the corporation franchise tax and corporation income tax refund statutes;
Closely analyzing any “flat tax” proposal for the impact it would have on Missouri small businesses that report their income taxes on individual income tax returns;
Monitoring federal Streamlined Sales Tax Project and business activity tax legislation;
Protecting Missouri taxpayers from efforts in other states to impose an economic nexus standard on Missouri companies in an effort to improperly subject Missouri taxpayers to other states’ taxes.

For more information about the goals of AIM and TRIM, visit www.aimo.com

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