Good morning, MBA readers,
State lawmakers have advanced a bill that would restore sales tax breaks for selling multiple vehicles at once. However, critics say the bill may open up a loophole for large corporations. In St. Louis, drama over an airport privatization group’s spokesman and his alleged pseudonym has led to his firing. In Columbia, a nonprofit and a local church have teamed up to help erase $43 million of medical debt. Read on to get the scoop on these and the state’s other top business stories.
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Missouri House passes vehicle sales tax break
The Republican-controlled House passed a bill Wednesday to restore sales tax breaks for trading in multiple vehicles, sending the bill to the state Senate. State Democrats say the law should be limited to small businesses and individuals so large corporations can’t cash in large fleets of vehicles without paying sales taxes. (Columbia Missourian)
Missouri seeks disaster declaration in additional counties
The state is asking the federal government to expand a disaster declaration for this year’s flooding and storms to include 14 more counties and the city of St. Louis. In its request, the state identified over $14 million in damages and emergency response costs not covered in the presidential disaster declaration earlier this year. (Associated Press)
St. Louis airport privatization group fires embattled spokesman
The St. Louis Airport Advisory Working Group has fired Douglass Petty as its spokesman as his credibility has come into question. Petty reportedly called a radio show about airport privatization using a pseudonym last month to defend efforts to privatize St. Louis Lambert International Airport. (St. Louis Public Radio)
Henry Bloch’s KC home goes up for sale
H&R Block founder Henry Bloch’s 1.84-acre Mission Hills, Kansas, estate, which he lived in for more than 50 years, is on sale for $4.6 million. Bloch, who died in April at age 96, built the home in 1963. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Almost 400 dispensary applications submitted in St. Louis area
State records released Tuesday show the addresses of nearly 400 aspiring medical marijuana dispensaries that have submitted applications to operate in the St. Louis metropolitan area. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Chase hires St. Louis executive as it prepares to open area branches
Chase Bank has hired Donny Carver, former district manager for U.S. Bank, as marketing director of banking in Missouri. Carver will hire staff for the first two Chase branches planned in the St. Louis area. (St. Louis Business Journal)
St. Louis County cuts ties with T.E.H. Realty
The Housing Authority of St. Louis County says it will no longer allow subsidized housing vouchers to be used at any apartments owned by T.E.H. Realty due to poor living conditions at the company’s properties. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Today’s graphic looks at average wages in every county across the state. The average worker in every Missouri county made less than $30 per hour in 2018, according to new data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Workers in the city of St. Louis had the highest wages; workers in Oregon County had the lowest.
That’s the amount of medical debt in mid-Missouri that will be erased as a result of a partnership between the Crossing Church in Columbia and the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt, the Columbia Missourian reports. The church has raised $430,000 in donations to buy the debt for roughly a penny per dollar from various collection agencies across the state. RIP Medical Debt, which helped broker the deal with collection agencies, has helped relieve more than $700 million in medical debt nationwide.
Say that again
“I’m very, very, very disappointed. I have absolutely no confidence the office will ever get built.”
That’s David White, an Overland Park, Kansas, council member talking about the Metcalf Crossing project approved for development at the site of two abandoned hotels last summer. A year later, plans continue to change, and no work has been completed, the Shawnee Mission Post reports. The $39 million project was supposed to be an example of how to use tax increment financing to address blight. Now, it might be an example of how not to.
Hello, my name is
The St. Louis-based startup has more than doubled its staff and raised $3.2 million since its founding in 2016, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Neocova provides artificial intelligence, analytics and other cloud-based systems to banks and credit unions, addressing a “huge gap in the market that can be exploited,” CEO Sultan Meghji said.
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.