Friday, September 17, 2010

Voice Your Support for the Missouri Historic Tax Credit Program

Over the summer, I posted some updates on efforts to "reform" Missouri's historic tax credit ("HTC") program, as part of Governor Nixon's proposed overhaul of all of the state's tax credits "from scratch."  As I noted then, the uncertainty created in the tax credit market by these efforts, including the Department of Economic Development's intentional slowing of the issuance of HTCs through a new undefined "expanded review process," appears to have had a significantly detrimental effect on the program.  In July, the Post-Dispatch reported a substantial decrease in the HTCs authorized by the DED, from $87.7 million in the first half of 2009 to only $13.4 million in the first half of 2010.

A temporary slow-down in the program is bad enough; enacting changes that permanently damage our successful and nation-leading program would be tragic.  In a recent e-mail, the director of the Missouri Coalition for Historic Preservation and Economic Developmentwhich has been working behind the scenes directly with legislatorsnoted the "strong possibility the recommendation [by the new Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission] to the Governor will be to significantly reduce the cap or alter the program so much that there will be very little predictability and we could see the program die in the future."

For those who are involved in and support the redevelopment of our state's many historic assets through HTCs, now is the time to voice your support for the HTC program and your opposition to changes by the General Assembly that would be likely to hobble the program.  Here are some easy ways to help:

1.  Attend one of the remaining regional meetings of the Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission toin the words of the National Trust for Historic Preservation"voice that more cuts to the existing Historic Tax Credit Program will only reduce state revenues and kill more jobs, and that surrounding states are increasing their historic tax credit caps to create jobs."  Those opposed to HTCs (and other tax credits) such as the Show-Me Institute will be attending these meetings to argue "the costs and negative consequences of tax credit programs in Missouri," so it is important that plenty of people supporting HTCs attend as well.

The regional meetings in Kansas City, St. Joseph, and Joplin have already been held. Two other regional meetings are listed below, with a final meeting in Columbia yet to be scheduled. Public comments will be heard at the meetings below from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Monday, September 20th

John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center
Southeast Missouri State University, River Campus
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Tuesday, September 21st

Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District
En Banc Courtroom
One Post Office Square
815 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

2.  If you cannot attend a regional meeting, you can forward your comments to the Coalition at and they will present them to the Commission for you.

3.  Send an e-mail to all of the commission members expressing your support for the HTC program.  E-mails for all of the members of the Commission can be found here.  Even more simply, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has created an e-mail template for supporters to use.

4Encourage others to voice their support for the HTC program and their objections to any changes that will decrease the availability and certainty of HTCs in the future.

To read the Coalition's press release on the Tax Credit Review Commission and some of the proven benefits of HTCs, continue reading below.

 Missouri Coalition for Historic Preservation and Economic Development

September 10, 2010


Governor Nixon's Tax Credit Review Commission (TCRC) has begun it review of Missouri's tax credit programs. In addition to the full TCRC meeting which was held September 8, 2010 to debrief the Commission members on all of the tax credit programs, there are several smaller regional meetings to be scheduled throughout the State, at which time public testimony will be taken

The State Historic Tax Credit program is under scrutiny by the commission. It is critically important at each of these public hearings for commission members to understand the great benefit to the state of the historic tax credit and that it is a false choice to say that education is hurt by the credit. We know, in fact, property tax revenues increase, meaning local funds for education increase, when buildings are brought back to life.

The Missouri Coalition for Historic Preservation & Economic Development is urging you to attend the upcoming regional TCRC meetings to voice that making more cuts to the existing Historic Tax Credit Program will only reduce state revenues and kill more jobs, and that surrounding states are increasing their historic tax credit caps to create jobs.

If you cannot attend, we urge you to send each commission member an e-mail with your views and your own experience. The list of Commission members is enclosed.

The Missouri Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program has been proven to provide an economic return to the state by:

¯ Creating Jobs - Over 43,000 jobs over the life of the program,

¯ Stimulates Private Investment - every $1 spent in Credits results in over $3 in private investment,

¯ All of Missouri benefits from HTC's - it has been used in small towns and main street communities as well as larger cities,

¯ HTC's generate revenue for the state,

    o Four times the amount of credit must be spent before any credit is issued. Because credits are paid at the end of a project, Missouri receives revenue from sales taxes and payroll taxes before credits are issued.

¯ The HTC is the only tax credit program to have been severely cut last year. There is now in place a 25% reduction from last year's use by the cap imposed last year.

Please come out and help us show the Commission that the Missouri HTC program is working and is the model other states are using. Hurting the HTC program would only hurt Missouri's future.

Updated information regarding the Tax Credit Review Commission schedule can be found on their web site,


Missouri Coalition for Historic Preservation & Economic Development

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