St. Louis officials allege developer McKee inflated property values for tax credits

St. Louis officials alleged Wednesday that developer Paul McKee and the former owner of property in north St. Louis engaged in a scheme to inflate sale values in an effort to procure more state tax credits.

The allegation surfaced in a trail to decide a dispute over the value of property the city acquired by eminent domain in compiling land for the future National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency campus in north St. Louis.

Ryann Carmody, an attorney for the city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, argued that the sale of the Buster Brown shoe factory from Jim Osher to McKee was not, in fact, a sale. She said the deal was orchestrated to help McKee receive tax credits through the distressed area land assemblage tax credit program, a now defunct program that a McKee attorney helped create.

McKee was the primary of the beneficiary of the program, earning more than $40 million in tax credits from it while it was operational. Little work has been done on the property McKee acquired in assembling the tax credits, but he argues that the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency would not have picked north St. Louis for its new facility without his efforts.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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