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Nixon Proposes Plan to Reward Long-Standing Missouri Businesses

Governor Jay Nixon says he wants to create a more level playing field for businesses that have been in Missouri for several years. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.

Nixon stopped in Springfield and Kansas City Tuesday to outline his new “Missouri First” proposal. That proposal will be considered during the 2010 legislative session, which begins tomorrow.

The Missouri First program would allow the state to raise the cap on tax credits and other incentive programs for companies that choose to expand in-state instead of moving elsewhere.

As the law stands, he said, Missouri provides better incentives to out-of-state businesses hoping to relocate to Missouri than it does to companies that have been in the Show-Me State for years.

"A Missouri company with 80 jobs wants to add 20? You can do “X” for them. A company from another state wants to do 100 jobs, you can do “X” plus a whole bunch for them. It’s still 100 jobs. And we can get that incremental 20 a lot cheaper than we can get the full 100. And we want to get Missouri businesses thinking about growing here in Missouri," he said.

The Democratic governor said it’s basically an extension of what his administration is already doing, and that he doesn’t yet have an estimate of how much more it would cost the state. He made his remarks from American Dehydrated Foods on East Battlefield, a company which has called Missouri “home” for about three decades.

For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.