State agencies that oversee cleanups of abandoned business sites allowed conflicts of interest and failed to contain costs for taxpayers, a report from Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich said. The Brownfield Remediation Tax Credit created just a small fraction of the jobs it was intended to create, according to Schweich, who gave the program the lowest possible grade: “poor.”
Schweich initiated the audit last year after a series of St. Louis Post-Dispatch stories exposing lax state oversight at tax credit-funded brownfield projects.
Changes are already underway. Last month, the Department of Economic Development proposed a series of administrative rule changes to require competitive bidding and eliminate self-dealing on brownfield projects.