by Laurie Griffith
Are you a business owner planning to invest in additional jobs or infrastructure? Have you considered the benefits of economic incentives offered by the state of Missouri? If not, the first thing you should do is reach out to your CPA. Many CPA firms work with specialists like Stephen Brunson, a principal at McGuire Sponsel who commits every day to helping clients make investment decisions while negotiating valuable economic incentives.
Economic incentives are put in place by state and federal government entities to encourage businesses to invest in jobs, infrastructure, etc. A great example in Missouri is Missouri Works, the state’s flagship program and No. 1 incentive tool to encourage expansion and retention. Established in 2013, the program providing withholding benefits and tax credits to support businesses that are expanding their workforce and facilities.
There are distinct categories within Missouri Works, each with its own set of requirements. It’s important to fully understand your project and how it can fit into one of these categories. According to Brunson, “with so many location options, businesses should not only understand cost, workforce and tax implications of their location decisions, but they should also understand how programs like Missouri Works can affect their analysis.” Since these incentives are forward-looking, you can make strategic decisions in order to maximize potential value from your investment.
For example, one of the Missouri Works categories, Statewide Works, requires 10 new jobs in two years and wages at 90% of the county average. However, if you have a facility in an Enhanced Enterprise Zone (specified geographic areas designated by local governments and certified by the Department of Economic Development) and make a $100,000 capital investment, you can reduce the number of required new jobs from 10 to two.
If you meet the requirements and are approved for the program, you will receive automatic benefits including retention of state withholding taxes for qualified employees. There are also discretionary benefits that can be awarded in the form of additional tax credits that the Missouri Department of Economic Development can provide in order to secure competitive projects with a significant economic impact. When expanding businesses know their options and the advantages and disadvantages of different location alternatives, the Missouri Department of Economic Development will value the project, assess the competition and utilize discretionary benefits to help secure the investment and job creation.
Missouri Works is just one of many economic incentives offered by the state. Understanding and obtaining these incentives can be complex, so it’s important to have a specialist like Brunson by your side. Join us at the next Sharp and On Point Speaker Series on Sept. 19, 2017, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Lodge of Des Peres, where Brunson will discuss Missouri Works in more depth as well as other incentive programs.
Stephen Brunson, a principal at McGuire Sponsel, specializes in incentive identification, negotiation and compliance. He is experienced with tax incentives at all levels including local, state and federal.
Laurie Griffith is a principal at Lopata, Flegel & Co. Accountants and Management Consultants. The Sharp & On Point Business Advisory Speaker Series is a free event at the Lodge of Des Peres sponsored by Lopata. Learn business strategies you can immediately put in place to point your business in the right direction. To reserve your seat or for more information, visit www.sharpandonpoint.com or www.lopataflegal.com.
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