St. Louis Public Radio News
5:06 pm
Thu April 29, 2010

Republicans seek alliance with city Dems on historic tax credits

St. Louis, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is taking heat from both Republicans and Democrats for saying that tax credits in Missouri have gotten out of control.

Republican Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder stood side-by-side with city Democrats in downtown St. Louis on Thursday, extolling the job-creating virtues historic tax credits have played in the city over the years.

He recalled how back in 2001 he worked with former Governor Bob Holden to pass tax credits used to rehabilitate downtown's "Old Post Office" directly behind him.

"As we stand here in front of this iconic piece of American architecture, the Old Post Office, we are almost literally surrounded by buildings that were done, accelerating the renaissance of downtown St. Louis, through historic credits," said Kinder.

Governor Nixon has called the growth in tax credits "unsustainable". Statements like these don't sit well with many urban Democrats.

Speaking downtown, Aldermanic President Lewis Reed said historic tax credits have been one of the largest job creators for St. Louis.

"I don't know if any of you remember the Chase Park Plaza back in its glory days when it was a vacant abandoned structure," said Reed. "It was tough to get a lot of things done through the Central West End when it was vacant."

Some speculate that Kinder's support of historic tax credits is part of long-term strategy to build urban support ahead of a 2012 bid for governor.