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Just as more than a few find Monsanto and its dominance in the seed business to be threatening to the American way of life — see the No Monsanto crop circle above — Missouri and Iowa are coughing up millions in a contest to see which state will be home to the company’s planned expansion. Monsanto is based in St. Louis and is considering an expansion that could add up to 1,500 jobs over four years. It’s a research facility, so most of the jobs would be high-paying. h

Iowa has offered Monsanto $50 million in subsidies to build the new facility in that state. So, Missouri legislators are trying to match (or better) the bid. The Missouri plan is to offer a research and development tax credit of 7.5% of its costs if the firm spends more than $5 million a year on R&D. No company could receive more than $2.1 million a year in credits. The tax credits are part of a larger economic development incentives bill that is stalled in the Missouri senate.

Missouri hasn’t always had the best of luck with tax incentive programs. Missouri abolished a tax credit program more than five years ago after a state audit found it was poorly managed. “We cannot continue to piece off all of the natural growth and say we will not tax it,” said Missouri state Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee’s Summit. “Just because the neighbors are doing something stupid, does that mean you’re going to do something stupid too?” 

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