|JEFFERSON CITY - To promote job growth and further economic development, Sen. Ron Richard (R-Joplin) has prefiled legislation that would allow Missouri to benefit from the big business of amateur sports, a multi-million dollar industry. Senate Bill 585 would attract amateur sporting events, such as the NCAA basketball tournament and various other college championship games, to the Show-Me state.
The bill allows cities to capture a portion of revenue from a sporting event and then use that money in the form of a tax credit to provide incentives to attract other major sports events to the city.
"Not only do these sporting events attract attention to our state, they're a huge economic boost to our tourism industry. The fans that come to watch these events spend money at hotels, restaurants and retail stores. It can add up to millions of dollars in direct spending," said Richard. "That's a lot of revenue our state could miss out on."
Many other states, such as Texas and Kentucky, already offer sports event incentives. Richard's legislation would keep Missouri competitive in attracting amateur sporting events to the state.
Kansas City and St. Louis have long courted major sports tournaments to their cities, but Sen. Richard says the bill's benefits will extend beyond the metro areas to other cities, such as Springfield and Joplin, which also host large amateur sports events.
Another bill prefiled by Richard aims to lure the growing data storage industry to Missouri. Data storage centers house computer servers that store digital information, and are used by credit card providers, retailers and Internet search engines.
Missouri is considered an ideal location for these centers because of the relatively cheap cost of energy in the Midwest. Senate Bill 584 offers sales and use tax exemptions to further encourage data centers to build and expand in the state.
"Data storage is a billion-dollar industry, and bringing these centers to our state could create hundreds of quality jobs for Missourians," Richard said. "The benefits are twofold. The data centers themselves will create permanent, high-tech employment, and the building of the centers will create numerous construction jobs. It's a great opportunity for our state."
Richard also filed Senate Bill 586, which would give charities located in the county of a fee office first-in-line status to bid on the fee office.