Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:18 am
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, chair of the Missouri General Assembly’s Black Caucus, is threatening to block Senate action on several of Gov. Jay Nixon’s key appointments because of the governor’s action to delay state tax breaks for several low-income housing projects.
State officials say a market shift is behind the recent decline in real-estate related tax credits redeemed by Missouri businesses and individuals.
The state Revenue Department reports a $103 million overall annual decline in tax credits cashed in the fiscal year that ended in June. That includes a $55 million plunge in the historic preservation tax credit and another $20 million drop in the low-income housing credit.
The amount of historic preservation tax credits authorized in Missouri has dropped for the fourth consecutive year. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri only authorized $93.9 million in credits during the 2013 fiscal year. That is about a $5 million decrease from the previous fiscal year.
The historic preservation credit is the most expensive credits in Missouri. In 2009, the program peaked with $212 million authorized. The program gives developers authorized tax credits to lower the cost of refurbishing historic buildings.
Missouri senators have given up their attempt to pass an overhaul of the some of the state's tax credit programs for businesses and developers.
Supporters of the bill set it aside Friday after Republican Sen. Brad Lager, of Savannah, spoke against it for an hour in a filibuster that could have otherwise continued until the session's mandatory end at 6 p.m. The legislation would have created tax incentives for international air cargo exports, computer data centers and investors in startup technology companies.
Firearms manufacturers looking to relocate to Missouri could collect a tax credit under a bill given first-round approval by the Missouri House.
The tax incentive endorsed Tuesday would expire in six years and be capped at $3 million annually. Gun and ammunition manufacturers would be able to claim the credit on withholding taxes from creating new jobs.
The Missouri House has backed a tax credit overhaul that is sharply different from a Senate version. A bill given initial approval 120-31 Wednesday night would set much higher caps than the Senate on the amount of tax credits that can be approved annually for the renovation of historic buildings and development of low-income housing.
Unlike a bill passed previously by the Senate, the House version would combine several existing business incentives into a new program with greater flexibility for state economic development officials to award tax credits.
A Missouri Senate committee is set to review the state's numerous tax credit programs and their impact on the state budget.
The Senate Appropriations Committee scheduled a hearing Monday on tax credits before it takes up Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
The 61 tax credit programs currently offered by Missouri cost the state nearly $630 million in the latest fiscal year. Last week, the Senate approved another one, with an estimated yearly cost of $3 million, to attract amateur sporting events to the state.