St. Louis developer Paul McKee took center stage Tuesday night at a Missouri House hearing on legislation that would extend the lifespan of the Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Tax Credit program (DALATC).
The controversial incentives are set to expire August 28th, but if passed, House Bill 423 would push the expiration date to August 28th, 2019, giving McKee six more years to get his NorthSide Regeneration Project off the ground. He says the extra time will enable his group to put together large parcels that can be used to lure another Mastercard or another Express Scripts to St. Louis.
“We’re competing for some major projects right now that bring job creation in a big-time way," McKee told reporters after the hearing. "You’ve got to have massive sites to be able to do that.”
McKee could get $50 million in additional Land Assemblage tax credits if the extension is approved, on top of the roughly $40 million in incentives his group has received since 2009.
“St. Louis can be great again, and the NorthSide Regeneration Project is gonna lead us to that greatness," McKee told the House Economic Development Committee. "It takes jobs, and job creation, to make greatness -- I do know how to create jobs, and that’s what I do every day, all day, without land.”
No one testified against the bill at last night’s hearing, although the project has numerous critics. They include several north St. Louis residents who filed a lawsuit claiming that McKee’s actions have driven down their property values. That case was argued in November before the Missouri Supreme Court, which has not yet issued a ruling.
The House Economic Development Committee will vote on the bill at a later date.
Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport