For Immediate Release:
May 30, 2014

Contact: Eric Jennings
(573) 751 - 2583
Senator Bob Dixon Calls on Governor to Advance High-Tech Job Growth in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY — Today, the General Assembly delivered Senate Bill 584 to the governor for final action. Sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, and handled in the House by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, SB 584 protects Missouri taxpayers with increased transparency and accountability in tax collection, while also providing economic development tools to attract next-generation jobs to the state. The passage of SB 584 also marks the first time in seven years that an economic development measure to attract data centers and high-tech jobs to Missouri has reached the governor’s desk. 


“Missourians want jobs. They want Missouri to be competitive,” said Sen. Dixon. “That means reaching across the aisle to move our economy forward, which I’ve done with this administration successfully on several economic development initiatives, including Missouri Works and the extension of the Shared Work Program. I look forward to working with the governor on this bill.”  


In 2010, the governor’s Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth (SIEG) identified the data-center industry as a target for economic development efforts, based on this sector’s significant growth potential, high-paying jobs and a strong job multiplier effect. A SIEG 2012 annual report noted that “the tax climate for data centers in Missouri continues to be anti-competitive compared to adjacent states” despite “the fact that the data center niche is experiencing the highest growth of any IT innovation,” and recommended the state take immediate action on data center legislation, “[at] the risk of being left behind.”


“Smart investments and the right tax policies will attract high-demand industries to Missouri, positioning our state as the place to grow, expand or relocate,” pointed out Sen. Dixon. “A failure to sign SB 584 would be a huge missed opportunity, with a negative effect on Missouri’s ability to lead the way in technology job growth. With the potential to spur Missouri’s economic growth, why would we be content with the status quo?”


In addition to the data center provision, SB 584 also:


  • Cuts red tape for small businesses and individual Missouri taxpayers;
  • Provides clear definitions to prevent or reverse bureaucratic misinterpretation of state tax laws, including the status of traditionally tax-exempt organizations;
  • Optimizes Missouri’s tax policies to best support the growth of high-value target business sectors; and
  • Increases transparency and accountability in tax collection, placing the burden on government, where it should be.


What Others Are Saying About Senate Bill 584


“Technology is the future. One way Missouri can capitalize on the growth of this data-driven economy is by becoming a great state for data center development. Data center construction is growing geometrically and is expected to be $15 billion in the next three to five years. Companies are looking for sites now to expand data centers. We can either provide attractive incentives to position Missouri for these opportunities, or stand by and watch these companies locate in other states.”


—Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber President and CEO


"Associated Industries of Missouri thanks Sen. Dixon for his leadership in helping protect taxpayers from an over-zealous DOR. This bill is carefully constructed to require state government to treat taxpayers fairly. The governor claims the state makes more than $200 million by tricking businesses into charging the wrong amount of tax and then hitting them with big tax bills. That is not fair and the practice must stop. We whole-heartedly support this bill and thank Sen. Dixon and Rep. Burlison, R-Springfield, for their efforts to protect taxpayers this session."


—Ray McCarty, Associated Industries of Missouri President and CEO


“Senator Dixon’s bill will allow thousands of our smallest businesses to report their withholding taxes annually rather than every quarter. This will save time for the small business owner and will mean less paper flowing into the DOR. This bill truly cuts red tape and paperwork for everyone involved.”


—Brad Jones, NFIB Missouri State Director


“On behalf of the St. Louis arts community and all of the nonprofit arts organizations across the state, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission thanks Sen. Dixon and all of the legislators that voted for SB 584. It is important to the arts organizations that the tax-exempt status for 501(c)3 organizations is clarified and clearly understood at the state government level. The arts mean good business in Missouri and provide jobs as well as attract businesses and skilled workers to our state.  In St. Louis City and County the total economic impact of the arts is more than $582 million and the arts provide more than 10,000 full-time equivalent jobs. That’s good for business in Missouri!”


—St. Louis Regional Arts Commission


“On behalf of the arts community, we thank Sen. Dixon and the other sponsors of SB 584 for their leadership in moving this legislation forward. The arts are important to both the economy and quality of life for all Missourians. Missourians who want to provide their families with educational and cultural opportunities should not be taxed out of the ability to do so. Also, a thriving arts industry generates additional economic growth through tourism, restaurants and area merchants. SB 584 accomplishes both goals by preserving the historically tax-exempt status of these arts organizations, providing certainty to the organizations and ensuring that they will remain open and accessible to Missouri citizens and the tens of thousands of visitors they attract to our state.” 


—Arts KC – Regional Arts Council