Wow: Missouri Accounts For Nearly One-In-Seven Historic Preservation Tax Credit Projects
So say stats from the National Park Service that were delivered to the reconstituted Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission last week. We have talked about the largesse of state historic preservation credits many, many times. These are incentives that have often gone to projects of highly questionable public benefit, like private homes and at least one country club. And while many of the buildings hardly fit the definition of “historic,” taxpayer-subsidized spending on these projects has truly been monumental.
Figures compiled by the agency show Missouri had the greatest number of completed projects that were certified for tax breaks during the 2011 fiscal year. The state’s 99 historic renovation projects comprised nearly 14 percent of the entire total for the nation.
Park Service figures show Missouri’s historic renovation projects cost nearly $331 million in fiscal 2011 — second only behind $365 million of costs in Illinois.
Doing the math, about one-in-seven preservation projects in the country that use these incentives are in the Show-Me State. Are one-in-seven “historic buildings” in Missouri? Seems more likely that it is a special interest handout. These credits need to be reformed, and soon. It is absurd that they have not been reformed.