Protect Missouri’s Historic Tax Credit Program

As many of you know, I am very politically active but rarely mix my business interests with politics.  This issue however, potentially will affect my business, and I feel very comfortable with asking you to help me.  The info is from an email I received from the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

Make Friday the 13th a Lucky Day for Historic Preservation

Contact Your Legislators Today about Missouri’s Historic Tax Credit Program!

The Missouri legislature adjourns on Friday, May 13th and legislators are expected to focus their attention on an economic development bill.

Economic development bills passed in the Senate include language that would severely damage Missouri’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit program.  This important economic development incentive created over 1,500 jobs in 2010 alone!

Recently proposed Senate language would severely curtail this program:

  • Reduces the program from $140 million to $75 million;
  • Prohibits combining Historic Preservation Tax Credits with Low Income Tax Credits in one project, effectively stalling rehabilitation of historic buildings for affordable housing;
  • For those who rehabilitate their historic house, the credits would be reduced from $250,000 to $50,000 and a homeowner would receive zero tax credits if the purchase price of their historic home was over $150,000; and
  • Calls for a sunset of the program on August 28, 2015. 

On a positive note, a proposed economic development bill in the House includes a more reasonable range of changes, included several based upon recommendations made by the Historic Tax Credit Subcommittee of the Governor’s Tax Credit Commission.

Those changes include:

  • Tying language definitions in the state’s program to the federal rehabilitation tax credit program;
  • Establishing a $115 million cap for 15 years and then the cap is removed (redemptions of the tax credit in Fiscal Year 2010 were about $100 million);
  • Raising the limit on small deal exceptions from $275,000 in credits to $500,000;
  • Allowing the Historic Preservation Tax Credit to be used in conjunction with other credit programs – often a necessary step when financing the rehabilitation of a historic commercial building;
  • Setting up a third-party appeals process;
  • Retaining the $250,000 cap on credits an owner can claim on owner-occupied houses, but makes those with a purchase price of more than $400,000 ineligible.

This better language will be part of the House Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 100 (HCS SB100) but could also get attached to another bill. 

Please contact your state Senator and Representative and ask them to strongly oppose SSHB116 and support the historic tax credit provisions of HCSSB100.  But since many times language flies from one bill to another, please be sure to ALSO share a story about how this historic preservation program has benefited your community.

For additional information, email Deb Sheals, or Jennifer Sandy at the Midwest Regional Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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One response to “Protect Missouri’s Historic Tax Credit Program

  • Ed Golterman

    Saving, restoring and reopening Kiel Opera House is the most significant preservation victory in St. Louis in our lifetimes and best use of historic tax credits. The public and private funds, anchored by the historics, saved the Blues, persuaded Peabody to remain downtown and provided a huge quality of life component to help lure down the Law School.

    It is to Landmark’s and the City’s disgrace neither fought the battle to prevent her gutting, neither initiated placement on the Register. I did. It is to the regression of preservation they have not widely celebrated such a victory as leaders in other cities would have. And it is the media’s disgrace. Fear of grand avenue and civic progress is still debilitating and it continues to reduce St. Louis as a City.
    (“The Mugging of Kiel Opera House” 2008 & “From Kiel to Peabody”:
    recovering and sustaining downtowns and main streets USA.
    Ed Golterman, Golterman Historics, LLC.

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