Low-income tax credits | St. Louis Public Radio

Low-income tax credits

House Budget Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick helped deauthorize the low-income housing tax credit earlier this month.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

Since Gov. Eric Greitens’ scandal broke wide open in January, there’s been a well-accepted assumption that if the GOP chief executive resigns it would lead to Lt. Gov. Mike Parson restarting the shuttered low-income housing tax credit.

House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick has a message for fans of that program: Not so fast.

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison speaks with a reporter as St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts escorts him into the courthouse on May 10, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Rachel Lippmann, Marshall Griffin and Jo Mannies break down all of the developments this week in Gov. Eric Greitens’ political and legal saga.

This week’s episode gives a preview of the governor’s felony invasion of privacy trial, which is slated to get started next week. We also get an update on whether legislators will impeach the governor — and the status of Greitens’ second felony charge for computer data tampering.

Attorney Al Watkins walks out Tuesday of the Carnahan Courthouse in St. Louis. He's joined by Chuck Hatfield, a Jefferson City attorney who represented him during his two-day deposition.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens’ attorneys finished questioning the attorney for a witness in the governor’s felony invasion of privacy case on Tuesday, but attorneys for both sides didn’t reveal who supplied $100,000 in cash for Al Watkins’ representation.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens helped engineer a freeze on low-income housing tax credits. And that decision is likely to stand unless the legislature makes substantial changes to the program.
File photo I Carolina Hidaglo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens upset a bipartisan contingent of legislators when his interim appointees made major public policy decisions.

That includes how the Republican governor and his appointees in December 2017 helped halt state low-income housing tax credits, an incentive that encourages developers to produce affordable housing for the working poor and elderly.

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City
File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate is again considering capping the state’s two biggest tax credit programs, despite their popularity with local leaders in urban and suburban areas.

Two separate bills, SB 590 and SB 591, would place limits of $50 million a year on incentives for both historic preservation and low income housing, which are both currently capped at $140 million. State Senator Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, sponsors both. He touted them Tuesday before the Senate committee on ethics.

Former Gov. Jay Nixon stands next to his official portrait last week in Jefferson City. (January 2018)
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When lawmakers gaveled themselves back into session on Jan. 3, most people focused on tension between Gov. Eric Greitens and the Missouri Senate — or how the GOP-controlled legislature may struggle to solve big policy problems over the next few months.

But for a brief moment on Thursday, legislators from both parties took a break from the Jefferson City rigor to shower praise on former Gov. Jay Nixon.

RISE Community Development's Stephen Acree stands in one of his organization's apartments in Forest Park Southeast. His group used low-income housing and historic tax credits to redevelop a slew of buildings in the central corridor neighborhood.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri will not issue $140 million dollars in state low income housing tax credits next year.

The Missouri Housing Development Commission voted 8 to 2 Tuesday to zero out the state’s low-income housing tax credit for the year. It also voted to apply for the federal version of the incentive.

Beyond Housing's Chris Krehmeyer stands in a vacant unit inside Rosie Shields Manor in Pagedale. Krehmeyer's group has developed a number of projects using the low-income housing tax credit.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens cast a key vote Friday to block state spending for its low-income housing tax credit program, saying such development efforts “sound nice, but don’t get results.”

The Republican governor is among the state officials who sit on the Missouri Housing Development Commission, which oversees construction projects that receive state assistance, primarily through state tax credits.

Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A gubernatorial commission wants to substantially scale back some of Missouri’s largest tax credit programs, which could set up a contentious fight during next year’s legislative session.

Downtown St. Louis,  looking east
File photo | Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon

After the difficult process this year of piecing together Missouri’s budget, lawmakers believe they’ve found a way to get more money for vital state services: Cutting tax credits.

But a report from state Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office shows that even with big changes to popular incentives, it could be years before the state saves a significant amount of money.

Fifty affordable townhomes and garden apartments will replace several empty buildings in the southern part of the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood.
Courtesy of Rise Community Development

Washington University’s medical campus in St. Louis will be getting a lot of new neighbors in the next couple of years, thanks to a new mixed-income development plan nearby.

The $27-million project will include 150 units of housing to buy and rent for both low- and middle-income residents in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. It aims to continue in the southern part of the area the revitalization seen in The Grove’s shopping and entertainment district to the north.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 3/17 at 10:30 a.m.)

State Sen. John Lamping learned two important lessons during his relatively short tenure in the Missouri General Assembly: It’s hard to pass new laws; and it’s easy to stop changes to existing ones. 

photo of Thomas Schweich
Provided by the auditor's office

State Auditor Tom Schweich released an audit critical of Missouri’s low-income housing tax credit, saying that the widely used incentive is inefficient and has a “very low” return on investment. 

And the Republican statewide official is hoping the audit will spur the Missouri General Assembly to break a years-long logjam on changing the state’s largest tax credit program.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House passed legislation on Thursday curtailing two of the state’s largest tax credit programs. 

State Rep. Anne Zerr’s bill would reduce the historic preservation tax credit’s cap to $90 million from $140 million. That program helps refurbish older buildings and has been used extensively throughout St. Louis.

The bill would also gradually reduce the cap on the tax credit for low-income housing to $110 million from $140 million. That credit provides an incentive for developers to build housing for the working poor, elderly and disabled.

Marshall Griffin, KWMU

(Updated 12:45 p.m. Fri., Feb. 14)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has unveiled a tentative deal for a tax-cut package made with some Republicans in the state Senate, but his requirements could delay when -- or if -- the cuts go into effect.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, a huge booster of Missouri’s historic tax credit program, isn’t happy with the bill approved Thursday by the Missouri Senate that slashes the program’s annual allocation ceiling by almost two-thirds.

But Slay's chief of staff Jeff Rainford said the mayor is confident that the state House will mandate a higher ceiling and “not anything close to this draconian” limit.