Greitens Leads Effort to Halt Missouri’s Low-Income Housing Tax Breaks

By on November 20, 2017

From St. Louis Public Radio:  Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens cast a key vote Friday to block state spending for its low-income housing tax credit program, saying such development efforts “sound nice, but don’t get results.”

Beyond Housing’s Chris Krehmeyer stands in a vacant unit inside Rosie Shields Manor in Pagedale. Krehmeyer’s group has developed a number of projects using the low-income housing tax credit.

The Republican governor is among the state officials who sit on the Missouri Housing Development Commission, which oversees construction projects that receive state assistance, primarily through state tax credits.

The board voted 6-2 to stop the scheduled low-income housing tax credit allocations for 2018. Greitens  called into the meeting to cast the decisive vote by telephone, which is notable because sitting governors rarely take any action at meetings of this commission.

The state’s low-income housing program is one of the largest Missouri tax credits, with roughly $140 million expected to be awarded to developmers this year to match federal low-income housing aid.

The low-income development projects, built around the state, often are earmarked for elderly or disabled residents. But state Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a report in June calling for stricter oversight of all of the state’s tax credit programs, which she said have cost the state $5.4 billion over the past decade.

Former state Sen. Jason Crowell, a Republican from Cape Girardeau, is an interim member of the Missouri Housing Development Commission and led the fight to curb the low-income housing tax credits. Crowell was a leading critic of state tax credit programs while he was in the General Assembly.

Crowell called Friday’s vote “the most fundamental step toward state tax-credit reform’’ in years, and praised Greitens for his support.

“The state of Missouri will no longer subsidize developers and special interests,’’ Crowell said.

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