Cupples 9 building in downtown St.Louis. Its renovation was supported by Missouri Historic Tax Credit program. | Photo courtesy of St.Louis Post-Dispatch

Historic tax credits targeted as fix for Missouri budget

A tax credit program that helps restore and reuse old buildings and put them back on the property tax rolls would be pared back under a plan debated Monday in the Missouri Senate.

The GOP-controlled Senate launched into a debate over legislation that would cut in half the amount of tax credits that can be issued for upgrades to historic structures.

The measure sponsored by Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Crosby, would reduce the cap on credits to $70 million, down from $140 million annually.

Hegeman wants to change the process by which tax credits are awarded and give more control over who receives them to the Department of Economic Development, which is controlled by the governor’s office.

Hegeman said he believes lawmakers should look at the funding level for the credits at a time when the state is looking to cut other programs.

But defenders of keeping funding at current levels said the program has helped transform neighborhoods at a reasonable cost and created needed construction jobs.

Amid opposition to his plan, Hegeman withdrew his proposal after more than two hours of debate Monday. He could bring it up for further discussion at a later date.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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