Spanning the Region

Missouri Tax Credits Designed to Help Business Incubators

Taxpayers who contribute $3,000 or more to business incubators in Missouri can apply for state tax credits equal to 50 percent of the contribution. The Small Business Incubator Tax Credit Program is administered by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

The maximum tax credit is $50,000 per contribution to a single incubator and $100,000 per contribution to multiple incubators. The overall maximum amount of tax credits that can be issued under the program each year is $500,000.

For information, contact the DED at (573) 751-0295 or visit www.missouridevelopment.org.

Site Selection Presents Competitiveness Award

This past May, Site Selection magazine chose the state of Indiana as the winner of its 2003 Competitiveness Award.

The magazine—a publication for CEOs, corporate real estate executives and others working in development—presents the award on the basis of 10 criteria that measure business expansion activity in the previous year.

Indiana restructured its business tax system in recent years. That effort has been credited with making the state a more attractive place in which to make investments and create jobs.

In 2002, the gross receipts and inventory taxes were eliminated, and the research and development tax credit was increased from 5 percent to 10 percent.

In 2003, the state made strides in job creation by investing $75 million in Indiana's 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, creating a venture capital tax credit and funding for certified technology parks.

Four of the top 10 states listed in Site Selection as being competitive—Indiana (1), Kentucky (2), Illinois (4) and Tennessee (10)—are in the Eighth District of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The criteria used to judge states come from Conway Data Inc.'s proprietary New Plant database, which tracks new and expanding corporate facilities.

New Illinois Laws Target Fraudulent Practices

The state of Illinois recently struck a blow on fraud with four pieces of legislation to combat identify theft, deceptive practices by lenders making reverse mortgages, deceptive credit counseling by debt management services and gift certificate fraud.

Amendments to the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act curtail unnecessary dissemination of Social Security numbers. The amendments make it illegal to publicly display an individual's Social Security number; to print the number on cards needed to access services and on materials that are mailed to the individual, with various exceptions; and to require an individual to transmit a Social Security number over the Internet.

House Bill 5197 is new legislation to help protect senior citizens from lenders who offer reverse mortgages in bad faith. The law takes the principles developed in the Illinois High Risk Home Loan Act and applies them to reverse mortgage lenders.

An amendment to the Debt Management Services Act protects consumers from deceptive credit counseling services. The law targets debt management companies that abuse consumers by not performing debt management services and by charging excessive fees.

Senate Bill 2901 requires retailers to provide written notices regarding fees, charges and expiration dates attached to gift cards.

For more information, visit the Illinois attorney general's web site at www.ag.state.il.us, the Illinois Public Safety web site at www.illinois.gov/safety or the Division of Financial Institutions web site at www.state.il.us/dfi/default2.htm.

Resource Helps Indiana's Agriculture Entrepreneurs

Working under contract to the Indiana Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Southern Indiana Rural Development Project (SIRDP) has begun work on the Indiana Alternative Agriculture Directory. The directory will be a resource for agriculture entrepreneurs and communities searching for new income-producing activities.

The directory will include listings of successful alternative ventures as well as case studies of 50 enterprises that hold promise for Indiana farmers in transition.

SIRDP, a nonprofit organization, is working in partnership with many organizations to develop these materials, including Purdue University's New Ventures Team, county extension offices and other agricultural organizations.

SIRDP anticipates completion of the Alternative Agriculture Directory by late 2004.

For more information or to find out how to nominate a successful agricultural entrepreneur for inclusion, contact Ellen Cowell at SIRDP by e-mail at ecowell@sdg.us or by phone at 1-800-816-0019.

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