The city’s Port Authority Board passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing the creation of an Advanced Industrial Manufacturing Zone, a designation recently established by Missouri lawmakers.
The law still must be signed by the governor. If it is, the law takes effect Aug. 28.
The city’s port authority encompasses the entirety of St. Louis’s riverfront, from Interstate 270 on the north to the River Des Peres on the south.
State taxes captured from new employees at businesses within those boundaries could be used for nearly any activity within the Port Authority’s boundaries. Redevelopment costs, bond payments and professional services are all covered under the law. It could help continue paying for upgrades on the riverfront, which has received some big investments in recent years.
The taxes would be put into a special fund administered by the state, and local port authorities would have to submit annual budgets to the state detailing how the funds will be spent.
Already, at least two other Missouri port authorities — Jefferson County and Kansas City — have passed resolutions establishing an Advanced Industrial Manufacturing Zone, according to a report by St. Louis Development Corp. staff, who administer the city’s port authority.
SLDC will have to determine the base employment within the port authority’s boundaries. Determining eligible new jobs and calculating the amount of state taxes the port authority can set aside “is expected to require cooperation from businesses within the AIM Zone,” the SLDC report says.
There was no estimate available for how much new revenue the new measure might generate.
With its existing revenue streams, the St. Louis Port Authority expects to collect about $1.2 million in revenue in the fiscal year that ends this month, mainly from leases. It uses funds to make upgrades for shipping and industrial infrastructure, often supplemented by state and federal funds.
It owns the Municipal River Terminal just north of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, which it leases to operator SCF Lewis and Clark Terminals LLC, a division of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based SEACOR Holdings Inc. That lease runs from 2015 to 2040.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch