Regarding Centene’s Outrageous Corporate Welfare Demands
For those unfamiliar with the company, St. Louis-based Centene Corporation is a managed care organization with a specialization in Medicaid. As you might suspect, providing government services can be big business, and that's helped make Centene a profitable enterprise and the largest Medicaid Managed Care Organization in the country. Centene loves Obamacare; Obamacare loves it right back.
But as it turns out, the company may be looking to get even more money from the big spenders in government—this time, from state and local officials.
Centene Corp. is seeking $147 million in taxpayer help for its proposed $771.8 million, multibuilding expansion project in downtown Clayton.
Under the company’s plan, described in a document submitted to the Missouri Development Finance Board, much of the taxpayer help would come from the city of Clayton, which over a period of years would provide nearly $95.6 million in property tax abatement on Centene’s huge downtown investment.
Centene also wants from Clayton nearly $3.2 million in personal property tax abatement and a $2.5 million commitment from a transportation development district.
The full proposal can be found here at the St. Louis Business Journal. In addition to the individual incentives described above, Centene is seeking an additional $35.7 million in state "Mega Works" tax credits, which lawmakers created three years ago by consolidating several existing (and failed) tax credit programs. At least $10 million in BUILD bonds have already been approved for the project, and if the region's track record of incentive profligacy is any indicator, the remaining tax incentives will probably to be approved without much delay.
Centene's subsidy demands may be "business as usual" in Missouri's broken tax-incentive universe. Yet, that Centene's business model is already highly reliant on extravagant public spending puts the company's latest tax incentive plan into a whole new class of corporate welfare and cronyism.