Missouri Minute: St. Louis proposes tax incentive guidelines; GOP health bill shorts state on Medicaid

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

St. Louis proposes guidelines for tax incentives in latest move toward reform

St. Louis aldermen and economic development officials have proposed new guidelines for the city’s construction incentives, the latest effort to reform the common tax breaks amid calls to better manage their use. The proposals call for capping development incentives in stronger neighborhoods and requiring large projects to undergo reviews by the St. Louis Development Corp., the city’s economic development arm. The incentives have become a flashpoint in recent years, both during the most recent mayoral campaign and after a report commissioned last year that put the value of tax breaks at roughly $709 million over 15 years. Read more

Missouri Hospital Association study: GOP health bill shorts state on Medicaid

A Missouri Hospital Association study of the American Health Care Act found that the Republican health care bill leaves Missouri and 18 other states that didn’t expand Medicaid short of federal money and continuing to feel the strain of uncompensated care. David Dillon, vice president of public and media relations for the hospital association, said it’s ironic that Republicans who want to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act  have written a bill that provides more money to states that embraced the law’s Medicaid expansion than those led by conservative Republicans who rejected it. The Republican bill passed the U.S. House last month in a party-line vote and is now being considered by the Senate. Read more

City Council orders six-week extension in KCI bidding process

Companies wanting to submit proposals for delivery of a new $1 billion terminal at Kansas City International Airport will have more time to do so and, perhaps, another financing option. Final language to be approved Tuesday by the City Council is expected to extend the proposal deadline in a request for qualifications and proposals (RFQ/P) from June 20 to Aug. 1, sources said. In addition, the RFQ/P no longer may limit the competition to bidders that would design, build and privately finance the terminal. Read more

Sprint buys out European partner in store expansion venture

Nearly two years into an effort to open 500 Sprint stores together, Sprint and a London-based partner have unwound their partnership. Dixons Carphone and Sprint had opened more than 100 of the stores through a joint venture owned equally between them. Sprint will buy Dixons Carphone’s half, the companies said, declining to disclose terms of the sale. The announcement by Dixons Carphone said the change stemmed from “the changing U.S. mobile market landscape and Sprint’s review of its own distribution strategy.” Read more

‘Getting Schlichterized’ gets national spotlight

St. Louis attorney Jerry Schlichter’s ongoing efforts to challenge excessive fees in 401(k) retirement plans have secured $334 million in settlements for clients since 2010. According to a Wall Street Journal profile about Schlichter, his work wasn’t taken seriously when he started filing the suits 10 years ago, but companies now are so worried about being hit with a suit about the mismanagement of the retirement plans that they’ve created a new term for the threat: “getting Schlichterized.” Last year, his firm filed 14 cases against employers. Consumer advocates say the cases have pushed down 401(k) fees, but critics contend the fear of litigation is causing employers to focus on fees instead of service and innovation. Read more

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