The Missouri Export Incentive Tax, a bill that would provide tax incentives for freight forwarders operating internationally out of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, has been scheduled for debate in the Missouri Senate.
Sen. Eric Schmitt introduced the bill that was put on the floor Jan. 9.
If passed, forwarders could receive a credit of 40 cents per kilogram for cargo placed on outbound flights from a Missouri airport, starting July 1. The incentive is capped at $7.5 million annually through June 30, 2021.
The bill revives a long-term goal to amplify Asian air cargo activity at the airport. Striving to create a “China hub” at Lambert by providing tax credits is nothing new.
Schmitt first proposed the forwarder credit in April 2011, but he also shot for $420 million to provide incentives for companies to build facilities near Lambert. Michael Webber of Webber Air Cargo said at the time, among other things, Lambert is too close to a larger alternative in Chicago O’Hare to be feasible as a Chinese destination.
In December, Lambert-St. Louis handled 12.8 million pounds of cargo, a 3.2-percent, year-over-year decline. For the entire year, cargo activity declined by 0.5 percent. - Jon Ross