RCGA lauds Sen. Smith for work to preserve historic-tax credit
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 7, 2009 - The St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association has just announced that it is honoring Missouri state Sen. Jeff Smith, D-St. Louis, with the group's 2009 Lewis & Clark Statesman Award "for his legislative efforts benefiting economic development in the St. Louis region."
In particular, Smith is praised for his work during the last legislative session to protect the state's Historic Preservation Tax Credits, a key tool in the city's redevelopment.
Smith was a key player in the successful Senate effort to overcome a filibuster by rural outstate Republicans who wanted to curb use of the program.
Said Smith in a statement: “The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program has been the most successful state program to help revive the city of St. Louis, and I am pleased I was able to work with lawmakers to reach a reasonable compromise sustaining the program, which is a national model.
He credited the program with creating "thousands of jobs across the state" and spawning "billions of dollars worth of development, not just downtown but in neighborhoods like Benton Park, Soulard, Shaw, and Forest Park Southeast."
Smith also was honored by his proposal of "angel tax credits to spur investment in early-stage companies."