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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Too Important

Missouri's State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is too important to be capped and eventually phased out. Its availability and liberal application all across the state has allowed the state of Missouri something it doesn't often get to claim: an accolade. Yes, Missouri's historic rehab tax credit has allowed it to brag about being #1 in the country for preservation credits. Missouri is finally #1 for something positive, right?

Well, a bunch of conservative politicans opposed on principle to tax credits has taken to dismantling Missouri's most successful economic development program in decades. These politicians would rather fuel the flames of urban resentment across the state than admit to the fact that dozens of counties and municipalities across the state have benefited from the tax credit. Don't believe me that it's a clear statement against Missouri's often maligned cities?

Read this piece of the proposed legislation:

The department of economic development is required to limit tax credit authorizations for St. Louis and Jackson Counties, and the City of St. Louis to the percentage of each fiscal year's allocation that each such city or county bears to the state's population.

The wording makes clear that outstate politicians are angry that the cities have so benefited from this tax credit. Their proposed legislation would limit the tax credit to 50 million dollars annually, and to phase the credit out by June 30, 2011.

Several urbanists are getting together to protest this proposed amendment to this highly successful tax credit on the steps of the state capitol in Jefferson City. Read more about that event over at Vanishing STL--and please, if you can, attend. This tax credit is too important to the future of St. Louis and the economy of the state as a whole.

If you need some numbers and some evidence of the tax credit's effect on St. Louis specifically, the Post-Dispatch Editorial Board has written an excellent piece on the need to wage an all out war to save the tax credit. Cliche as it may be, St. Louis's future may depend on it.

The P-D is correct; it is definitely time to mobilize.


Unknown said...

But why Jackson County?

Matt M. said...

Kansas City is primarily in Jackson County.

Lysa Young-Bates said...

Very short notice, but your north-neighbors, Benton Park, are hosting an event tomorrow at 2919 & 2921 Salena, celebrating a massive revitalization project that was accomplished with historic tax credits. The event includes a documentary viewing of BP's South Side Consumer Dairy — including historic footage, interviews with individuals who once worked in the dairy, and information on the combined efforts and shared vision of multiple organizations to see the property converted from a neighborhood eyesore to award-winning residential housing.

Thursday, March 26 2009
5:30 to 7:00 pm

- documentary viewing starts at 6:00 at 2919 Salena
- wine reception & light refreshments at 2921 Salena

The event has been organized by the Community Development Administration (CDA), City of St Louis, STL-TV 10, Benton Park Community Housing Corporation, Benton Park Neighborhood Association, and Millennium Restoration.

We'd love to see a strong showing in support of our tax credit program!

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