Chamber Backs Zerr’s Push For Data Center Incentives (Video)

Rep. Anne Zerr, R-St. Charles, has introduced a few tax incentive bills this session, offering incentives from land assemblage to youth programs.

Zerr said one of her tax credit bills, HB 1498, is similar to one she proposed last session. She said while she changed around dates and threw out some social tax credits, the essence of her bill remained the same. The bill would provide tax incentives for Angel investors, data storage centers, freight forwarders and lang assemblage.

She said she focused on business owners and business organizations for help coming up with the legislation.

“Mostly, I talked to the industry people that want to bring in this type of targeted incentives,” Zerr said. “Particularly for startup life science, bio sciences, high technology, businesses, these are all really just hot, in-demand professions. I think their concern is that Missouri is left out of the growth in the surrounding states, and they don’t want Missouri to be left behind.

According the Missouri Chamber of Commerce blog, the chamber supports the legislation by Zerr. Chamber vice president of governmental affairs Tracy King said the tax credits for data storage would drive businesses to Missouri.

“Data centers are going to continue to grow as an industry. Technology is increasing and data centers are a huge private investment,” King said.  “We have everything that we need here in Missouri to attract data centers except our tax structure.”

Zerr said incentives similar to the ones she proposes are often taken seriously.

“They must be pretty good or be a pretty good idea or they would have gone away,” Zerr said. “People would have lost interest; I don’t see any loss of interest in these kind of incentives.”

As for her confidence in the bill going all the way to the Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk, Zerr said she wants to first work through the process of fighting for her legislation. She said while she has not been in direct contact with the governor, she said she thinks her bill has what it takes to avoid a veto.

“I know he’s for job creation,” she said. “I know he believes that we need to put Missourians back to work, and I know he wants us to be successful in passing legislation that does that.”

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