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.
The commission’s 6 to 2 initial vote last month was followed by a period of public comment. But in the end it didn’t matter, as none of the commissioners who voted last month to cut off low income housing incentives changed their minds. The two extra “yes” votes came courtesy of new commission members Craig Porter and John Scariot, who were sworn in before today’s meeting.
Gov. Eric Greitens phoned into the meeting and voted in favor of zeroing out the tax credits. He said in a written statement that special interests abused low income housing tax breaks to make themselves rich.
The commission’s vice chair, former state Sen. Jason Crowell of Cape Girardeau, speared the commission’s move. He’s been critical for years of the low-income housing tax credit, but failed in his efforts to scale back the program while he was in the Missouri Senate.
Lt. Governor Mike Parson led the opposition to the commission’s move. He said it would make it harder to provide housing not only to low-income urban residents, but to rural Missourians and military veterans as well.