Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Responses on Historic Tax Credit Changes

I have received several interesting responses to my post yesterday regarding recent changes to Missouri's historic tax credit program.

First, shortly after my post I asked Jeff Rainford (, Chief of Staff to Mayor Slay, for the Mayor's thoughts on recent developments with the program. I noted my concern about the uncertainty that has been introduced into the tax credit program, and the extent to which that has the potential to derail the ongoing revitalization of the City in general, and downtown in particular (the Post-Dispatch's article yesterday reveals that use of the historic tax credit program is WAY down in the first half of this year). Mr. Rainford responded as follows:

"Here is where he is. The program is good. It works well. It has been and will continue to be one of the vital components of the City's renaissance. It is an investment for the state. That means it brings back more in tax revenues than it costs.

DED says they are just being more careful, but it is our opinion that they are trying to curtail the program.

Eventually, the governor is going to appoint a commission that hopefully will produce a compromise that everyone can live with, and we can get on with rebuilding the City.  In the meantime, there is an incredible amount of rebuilding going on Dowtown right now, much of it dependent on the historics." (I guess I should have published that info about the commission right away--I would have had the scoop!)

Second, someone from Space Architects ( tweeted: "As an architect who often speaks to prospects about HTC's, uncertainty = deal over."  That's consistent with everything else I have heard on the subject.

Finally, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (, who is an ally of Mayor Slay's on the historic tax credit fight, tweeted that the uncertainty that has been created in the program is "devastating" and a "body blow" (or maybe the two tweets were meant to be read together as "devastating body blow"). I will be talking to Lieutenant Governor Kinder in more detail later this week, and will publish his thoughts here.

Stay tuned . . .

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