Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When Happy Apples Go Bad; No Tax Credits For You!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 1:57 PM

  • flickr.com/photos/uibriain
Who says Missouri Department of Economic Development director Linda Martinez is soft on immigration?

For the first time ever, Martinez's agency has stripped a local business of tax credits for having once employed "illegal aliens."

Federal court records show that Joette Reidy of Happy Apples -- a company based in Washington, Mo., with an orchard nearby producing apples and other apple-related goodies -- pleaded guilty in November 2007 to the federal charge of hiring at least 10 illegal aliens in a one-year period. She paid a $100 penalty for the offense and was placed on two year's probation.

Now the DED announced Monday that, under state statute, Happy Apples can't get any state tax credits for the five years following that guilty plea.

The state says Reidy applied in April 2007 for the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP). That program's purpose, according to a state Web site, is to: 
Provide assistance to community-based organizations that enables them to implement community or neighborhood projects in the areas of community service, education, crime prevention, job training and physical revitalization.
Reidy and Happy Apples would've been eligible for $1,400 in state tax credits under that program. Yes, a whopping fourteen hundred bucks.

Newsworthy? Perhaps, if you're trying to dispel criticism that you're easy on "illegals." Martinez, an attorney, gained prominence a few year's back when she worked pro bono to fight against anti-immigration legislation in Valley Park.  

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