Springfield, MO

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Commission report proposes cutting tax credits to $300M

Posted online
Last edited 9:18 a.m. Dec. 1, 2010

As they examined state tax credits, members of the bipartisan Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon were seeking a $1 return on investment for every $1 tax credit issued by the state, according to Mark Gardner, a Springfield representative on the committee.

Gardner, president and general counsel of tax credit broker Gardner Capital Inc., said programs that did not produce more than $1 of benefit faced elimination, unless they were programs such as donation credits or those designed to provide a social need such as low-income housing.

“We had economic analysis that showed return,” Gardner said. “Even if that program (low-income housing) had not met the dollar-for-dollar test, it wouldn’t have been eliminated.”

Steve Stogel and former state Sen. Chuck Gross, co-chairs of the commission, will hold a
conference call at 2 p.m. Nov. 30 to discuss the commission’s report to Gov. Jay Nixon.

“My guess would be is that the governor would be very pleased with the report,” Gardner said.

Although Gardner wouldn’t comment on the report’s specifics until it is released – it will be available online at 2 p.m. Nov. 30 – he said the commission’s report recommends slicing state tax credits to $300 million from more than $500 million.

“It’s an aggressive position on tax credits,” Gardner said.

Nixon created the 27-member commission in July to review the state’s 61 tax credit programs and make recommendations for greater efficacy and enhanced return on investment. During the past four months, the commission has conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of
Missouri’s tax credit programs and is making recommendations for their improvement in the report.

Stogel is president of St. Louis-based DFC Group Inc., and Gross is St. Charles County director of administration. Members of the Missouri Senate, the Missouri House and community and business leaders across the state were also added to the committee.

The commission faced criticism shortly after formation from the Missouri Coalition for Historic Preservation and Economic Development, which expressed concern with possible lack of representation from those familiar with historic tax credits, according to Springfield Business Journal coverage.

Jim Anderson, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, also serves on the commission.
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