Missouri makes play for part of biodefense development industry

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has supported a proposal that would send millions of tax dollars to Missouri's biotechnology industry to allow it to keep pace with other states.

Under the plan, an annual portion of the ENE tax revenues generated by biotechnology companies would be diverted to a special state fund. Incentives would then be given out of that fund to new or expanding entrepreneurs in the field.

A similar model was used by Kansas five years ago to entice agricultural and biological firms and researchers. An estimated $580 million in funding will be doled out by the Kansas Bioscience Authority over 15 years and the state recently won the competition for a new $450 million national biodefense laboratory.

Nixon's plan is not entirely known, but it is believed that the plan would target only the growth of individual state income taxes attributable to the biotechnology sector.

Proposal for the money include luring human medical research and animal health research companies from out-of-state, as well as subsidizing college-based training for the employees of biotechnology companies.

State Rep. Tim Flook, chairman of the House Job Creation and Economic Development Committee, has said that the creation of a science and biotechnology authority would be on of the 2010 session's top economic development proposals.