Missouri Minute: DFA to acquire Dean Foods; lawmakers split over online sales tax

Good morning, MBA readers,

Many Missouri lawmakers seem to agree that the state should tax online sales by out-of-state retailers, but an important question remains — what to do with the proceeds of such a tax.

Gov. Mike Parson, who has repeatedly called on the legislature to take up the subject, has one idea. In his State of the State address, Parson proposed creating a $100 million emergency fund for the state. Parson’s budget estimates Missouri could generate up to $80 million annually by levying a tax on online sales, helping replenish the proposed emergency fund.

But this idea is beginning to meet some resistance in the legislature. One Missouri Senate bill would set aside 80% of online sales tax revenue for school transportation and use the rest to reimburse counties for jail costs owed by the state.

Other lawmakers are not so keen on the idea of a new tax. One House bill would require online retailers to collect state sales tax but would adjust income tax rates annually to offset the revenue gains of the new levy. The bill, which was recently endorsed by a committee, would allow the state’s top income tax rate to adjust annually to compensate for fluctuations in online tax revenue.

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DFA to officially acquire Dean Foods
Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America announced Monday that it has reached an agreement to buy a “substantial portion” of the bankrupt milk company Dean Foods for $425 million. The deal, which would give DFA 44 of Dean Food’s facilities, is likely to flame antitrust scrutiny focused on the dairy cooperative’s evolving role in the American milk business. (Bloomberg, CNBC)

Parson, GOP lawmakers disagree over online sales tax
Members of Gov. Mike Parson’s own party have suggested they are unlikely to greenlight a measure to add an online sales tax unless it is revenue-neutral. Parson has proposed plans to use extra revenue generated by such a tax for a state emergency fund, but House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, said that would be viewed by lawmakers as a tax increase, making it unlikely to pass. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Chesterfield Mall sold to the Staenberg Group
The Staenberg Group closed on its acquisition of the Chesterfield Mall for an undisclosed price. The group said the purchase is the start of “Downtown Chesterfield,” envisioned as a multi-year redevelopment project that would transform a swath of the St. Louis suburb. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Jack Henry execs sell millions in shares
Three executives of the Monett-based financial technology company sold shares Monday after Jack Henry’s stock climbed to 52-week highs. CFO Kevin Williams sold the highest number of shares: nearly 9,500 worth some $1.6 million. (Springfield Business Journal)

Pier 1 Imports files for bankruptcy
The home goods store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday after years of declining sales. The retailer, which has eight locations in Missouri, says it plans to pursue a sale, with a March 23 deadline to submit bids. (Associated Press)

Residents may face eviction after problems with KC apartments
After the Nob Hill Apartments & Townhomes failed two inspections by Kansas City’s Housing Authority, residents are no longer being offered the vouchers that have helped them pay rent at the property owned by KM-T.E.H. Realty. That will force residents to choose between eviction or paying full price for the apartments, which many tenants cannot afford. (Kansas City Star)


Say that again

“The chances of it becoming like AT&T or Verizon are very small. None of its T-Mobile DNA or its Sprint DNA looks like either of the two larger companies.”

That’s Mark Jamison, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute think tank, explaining T-Mobile’s potential strategy after completing its acquisition of Sprint, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Jamison argues that T-Mobile could retain some of its maverick culture and continue to undercut its larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless. He added that wireless markets will change as T-Mobile pursues a 5G network as promised in its initial proposal.


Go figure

2,282

That’s the estimated number of Medicaid recipients in Missouri who could lose their coverage under a new work requirement bill in the state Senate, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The bill, sponsored by Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, would require Medicaid recipients to work, attend school or volunteer to maintain their coverage. A senate analysis estimates that Sater’s proposal would affect 3,511 recipients, and that 65% of those recipients would likely fail to comply, thus losing coverage. Sater’s plan, the third of its kind in three years, comes in spite of another federal court ruling on similar laws in other states.


Hello, my name is

Knitorious

The St. Louis knitting community will take a hit this spring when this yarn store in Lindenwood Park closes with the retirement of its owner, Sandy Kulash, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Knitorious is one of four independent yarn stores in the area. These stores have seen a decline in the past decade due to online sales and have largely kept afloat through knitting classes. Knitorious hosts one such class on Wednesdays, when hobbyists of all skill levels gather to compare their work and chat.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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