The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 10, 2013

Our View: Keep credits holstered

The Joplin Globe

— We have no problem with gun and ammunition manufacturers setting up their businesses in Missouri.

We welcome new jobs to our state.

That doesn’t mean we think we need to offer up a tax credit specifically to gun and ammunition manufacturers. Last time we looked, gun and ammo sales were quite healthy. Yet state Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, has tacked on an amendment to the Missouri Quality Jobs Act that, if approved, would allow gun and ammunition manufacturers to claim credits for any jobs created. His bill would place a $3 million cap on the program, which would expire in six years.

Tax credits can be useful, and Missouri has many that already apply to businesses creating new jobs. In fact, Missouri has more than 60 different tax credits available.

We find it odd at a time when the state Legislature is proposing to cut tax credits for low-income housing — a program much needed right here in Joplin — that we can find up to $3 million to create yet another program. By the way, the low-income housing tax credits produce $5 for every $1 spent and have been shown to not only stimulate the economy but also provide roofs over the heads of families.

White says he has sent letters to a handful of gun and ammunition manufacturers urging them to come to the region. We’re sure there’s a list of incentives already in place that might be appealing.

The Missouri Quality Jobs Act is important. By tacking on this amendment to the bill, there’s a real risk that it will get mired down in unnecessary politics.

We simply don’t think Missouri needs yet another tax credit.