Repackaged as the “Freight Forwarders Incentive Act,” HB 1476 is the reincarnation of the failed China Hub bill that cost the 24th State hundreds of thousands of dollars in a protracted and futile special session last year.
This year's “Freight Forwarders Incentive Act” is the portion of the Aerotropolis Bill SB 8 that gave $60M in tax credits to exporters who send goods out through Lambert Airport to an international destination, presumably to China. HB 1476 - heard in the Economic Development Committee today - gives the same $60M to State approved Freight Forwarders.
The questions about the China Hub bill still remain unanswered with the Freight Forwarders Incentive Act.
- Why is the rest of the state excluded from these incentives by the requirement that only freight leaving Lambert Airport is eligible for the Tax Credits?
- Why are only international freight forwarders favored by the state with these Tax Credits? Why not include domestic freight forwarders?
- Why are these Tax Credits transferable – allowing, in effect, cash payments to businesses that receive them and allowing businesses that do not engage in international exports to lower their tax rates?
- What is the increased tax burden to the rest of the businesses in the state? Those that don’t receive this special break, but have to make up the difference of lost state revenue?
- Most perplexing of all, why does the Republican majority that claims to support capitalism continue to promote the same mercantilist (crony-capitalist) polices that King George used to oppress our founding fathers?
It will be interesting to see if the new label will make this bill any more palatable to the tax payers of our state who aren’t on the receiving end of this governmental largess.