Let’s Cut Tax Credit Programs! (Just Not Any of the Tax Credits That Benefit Me)
According to an article by Brian Hook at the Missouri Watchdog:
With seven of the 25 commissioners present, nine residents testified in favor of different tax credits. Due to low numbers, the commission was in recess for a majority of the time between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
But each participant told commissioners about how tax credits help his or her project or program.
These tax credit programs affect a greater number of Missourians with their diffused costs than with their concentrated benefits, but the negatively affected group unfortunately has less of an incentive to testify at these meetings because their individual losses are comparatively small.
Quite unfortunately, the rent-seeking occurs on both sides of the table. The members of the Tax Credit Review Commission include businessmen whose companies have directly benefited from tax credits. Many other members of the committee represent the real estate industry, and would certainly benefit from an increase in construction activity.
Did anybody else notice that there are are no economists on the committee, despite the fact that its focus is economic development? This is unfortunate, yet unsurprising.
The Tax Credit Review Commission is holding regional meetings throughout Missouri this week. The schedule is available online. I encourage Missouri taxpayers who are concerned with the costs and negative consequences of tax credit programs in Missouri to attend. I plan to attend and deliver testimony at the regional meeting in Saint Louis on Sept. 21.
(I adapted the title of this blog entry from a recent — and related! — article in Reason: “Let’s Cut Spending! (Just Not Any of the Spending That Benefits Me.)