Phil Brooks, Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The Missouri House approves a nearly half-billion dollar tax break package to help set up the Lambert Airport China hub — but the plan could face turbulence in the Missouri Senate.

By a voice vote, the House today gave overwhelming support for a measure that provides $480 million in tax breaks for American companies helping set up the proposed international trade hub at Lambert.   The bill was sponsored by central Missouri Republican Representative Caleb Jones.

“This bill will affect the entire state,” Jones said, ‘Not just the St. Louis area.  It’s going to create demand for all of Missouri and our products and goods.  Folks from my district are going to be able to load up cattle and drive it to St. louis and have it in China the next day.”

But during this tight budget year,  the measure could face a high wall of opposition in the Missouri Senate.   Southwest Missouri Republican State Senator Jason Crowell has been skeptical of tax breaks for business development.

“I’m not determined to stop anything,” Crowell said, ” I’m determined to make sure the taxpayers don’t get screwed.”

Crowell notes there has been no study to show the China Hub tax breaks would ever be recouped by expanded business growth. 

Five weeks remain in the legislative session. 

Monitoring the debate from St. Louis,  Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge says if the tax breaks aren’t approved, it could be a deal killer. 

“I think if we really want to build an international cargo hub, if we don’t get this, we could see it not happen,” Hamm-Niebruegge said.

Hamm-Niebruegge, who has been closely involved with the China-hub talks,  says critics of the tax breaks should keep in mind, they are targeted to American companies, not to the Chinese. 

“There is no direct payment to the Chinese on this,” Hamm-Niebruegge said, “And I think it’s important for people to understand.  What this incentive is, is to build companies here and around the Missouri area, and for the U-S-based freight forwarders to bring product here.”

If all goes well, Hamm-Niebruegge predicts Chinese cargo flights could be landing at Lambert “by this summer.”

Copyright KMOX.

Comments (7)
  1. champ butler says:

    we don’t want those Red hina killers over here…don’t you know how these people moron!

  2. Ace Baron says:

    chump butlerhead is in a UNION! To hell with everyone who can offer services at a lower wadge to compete in the new world economy. I for one will be laughing when UNIONS are completely abolished! It will happen in the next decade because Unions are all uneducated bullys.

  3. troy says:

    yet another story about yet another obstacle to the dream of a china hub thats never coming. . . .

  4. meiser says:

    china has to agree to have american stuff shipped back on the return flight for a hub to work, currently all they want to do is import chinese stuff to us, and thats the sticking point, plus Chicago already has a midwest/china hub, why would they want to come here to STL anyway?
    this would have already happened if it was gonna happen.

  5. dg says:

    I hope before we give away Missouri tax dollars that we get enforceable terms on any agreement with the Chinese. They have denomstrated a willingness to cheat, subsidize, and evade their way to the worlds largest trade surplus at our expense. Wake up and smell the ginseng!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Listen Live