Missouri Governor Mike Parson, in his State of the State speech last month, noted that child care is a priority for him. This month Rep. Brenda Shields sponsored a bill (HB 870) that offers not just one, but three different child care rebates from Missouri. Now, on Tuesday, a Missouri House committee discussed those credits that aim to improve access to affordable childcare.
Child Care Rebates From Missouri: What’s The Need?
On Tuesday, Shields told her colleagues that these child care rebates from Missouri are needed because the child care market is in a state of crisis. A 2021 report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation estimated that the state loses about $1.3 billion a year due to accessibility, quality and cost-related childcare issues.
Further, Shields noted that of the 30% providers who went out of business at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, only 3% have returned.
“I look forward to the day that we can attract businesses to Missouri,” Shields said, “because we can say that we have quality, reliable, affordable childcare for your workforce.”
The proposed child care rebates from Missouri enjoy the support of more than a dozen people, including representatives of state and local chambers of commerce, child advocacy groups, child care providers and anti-abortion advocacy groups.
On the other hand, those against the credits question the need for such child care rebates and if it would be an efficient use of taxpayer money. Moreover, questions are also raised on the capability of credits to benefit providers and their staff.
What Are The Three Rebates?
Shields’ proposed legislation includes three types of child care rebates from Missouri, including for donors to child care facilities; for child care providers; and for employers who contribute toward employees’ child care.
Under the first rebate, called the “Child Care Contribution” tax credit, donors to child care providers would receive a credit equaling 75% of a qualifying donation, with a limit of $200,000.
In the second credit, called the “Child Care Providers Tax Credit,” child care providers would be allowed to claim a tax credit that is equal to the provider’s employer withholding tax. This credit must not exceed 30% of the provider’s capital expenditures, including on expanding or renovating facilities.
The last credit, called “Employer Provided Child Care Assistance,” aims to establish collaboration between businesses whose employees require child care. Under this credit, employers would qualify for a 30% tax credit on qualifying childcare expenditures.
Shields noted that other states have tax credits related to child care, but no state has been able to “put all three of these together.”
Each of these proposed child care rebates from Missouri is capped at $20 million per calendar year. If the full amount is used in any year, then the cap amount for the next year would automatically increase by $3 million. These credits, if approved, would automatically expire in 2029.
This article originally appeared on ValueWalk
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