Audit shows Missouri faces $3 billion tax credit liability

The Missouri budget is on the hook for $3 billion worth of tax credits that have been authorized but not redeemed, according to a report Wednesday from Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway.

The report is the latest examination of Missouri’s tax credit programs. In recent years, the Missouri auditor has issued reports questioning the efficiency and return on investment of various tax credits.

Galloway, a Democrat, called on lawmakers who craft the state’s budget to weigh the cost and benefits of tax credits. Missouri lost out on $5.4 billion in revenue because of tax credits over the past decade, the report says.

Galloway’s office also said economic benefits of some tax credits have been overstated in reports to lawmakers, and that past audits found that’s because of “overly optimistic assumptions” by the state agencies that oversee the credits.

About $418 million in tax credits redeemed in fiscal year 2016 went to programs that returned less to the state than the cost, according to the report.

Read more: Kansas City Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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