JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—Missouri sawmills will be getting a tax break.
Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Wednesday that reclassifies sawmills as agricultural instead of commercial property. The change could save them about $4 million annually in local property taxes. That's because agricultural land is assessed at 12 percent of its productive value, compared with 32 percent of market value for commercial property.
Supporters of the legislation hope it will provide an economic boost for Missouri's timber industry, which is a leading employer in some rural communities. But some school officials have expressed concern about the loss of revenue.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks Missouri third nationally in the economic effects of forestry. The state has more than 400 sawmills, largely in the south-central region.
Sawmill bill is SB55.