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Historic Preservation tax credits to be cut nearly in half as part of Mo. special session

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The economic development deal struck by lawmakers will cut one of Missouri’s most popular tax credits nearly in half.

The deal between House and Senate leaders would cut the amount of Historic Preservation tax credits issued each year from $140 million down to $80 million.

Ruth Keenoy with the non-profit Landmark Associates of St. Louis, Inc., says the smaller cap would be detrimental to Missouri’s economy.  She wants the incentives to be left as-is.

“They are a benefit, not just to St. Louis, but statewide, nationwide," Keenoy said.  "So I don’t understand why they can’t just leave that out of the equation and find some other way to work on (the China hub deal)."

The centerpiece of the agreement would provide around $360 million in incentives to transform Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub, a.k.a. the Aerotropolis proposal.

State Senator Chuck Purgason (R, Caulfield) supports capping historic preservation incentives.

“To some it’s gotten out of control," Purgason said.  "Regardless of whether you like the program or not, a program that was sold to the General Assemblyat an annual cost of $12 million that grows to $150 to $200 million a year needs to be looked at by the legislature.”

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has also called for overhauling the state's tax credit system.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.