Missouri Auditor Criticizes Historic Tax Credit Program

Tom Schweich, state auditor | Photo from tomschweich.com
Tom Schweich called the state's historic tax credit program "inefficient." | Courtesy of tomschweich.com

An audit of Missouri’s historic tax credit program concludes that it has been helpful in restoring many buildings but “is an inefficient use of state resources.”

The report released Tuesday by Missouri Auditor Thomas Schweich estimated that each historic tax credit dollar yielded 49 to 85 cents toward rehabilitation costs. Since its beginning in 1998, Missouri has authorized $1.35 billion in historic credits, the most in the country.

The report is expected to provide additional ammunition to critics of the program, including Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Senate, who have called for the program to be capped at $90 million annually from the current $140 million. But advocates for the program say that it has been invaluable and that each historic tax credit dollar generates $4 to $5 in private spending. A study by the Alliance for Investment, Jobs & Preservation, a lobbying group, estimated $6 billion in private investment had been triggered by the program since its beginning.

Read more from the Kansas City Star

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