January is here and so is the annual legislative effort in Jefferson City to reduce or eliminate Missouri's historic preservation tax credit.
Stepping into the effort this year is Sen. Andrew Koenig, a Republican elected in November from the 15th senatorial district in southwest St. Louis County.
Koenig, a former Missouri House member, is sponsor of Senate Bill 226, which would prohibit the transfer, sale or assignment of many state tax credits, including those for brownfield remediation, affordable housing assistance and historic preservation.
The bill has the attention of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, which said Tuesday the proposal "would eliminate the entire Missouri Historic Preservation Tax Credit program." The group adds that Koenig's bill also "would essentially shut down the Missouri Department of Economic Development in a misguided and ill-informed matter of 'principle.'"
Jerry Schlichter, the St. Louis lawyer credited with putting together the state's historic preservation tax credit law, said in a statement provided by Landmarks that Koenig's bill is among other efforts to cut the credits.
“For years, despite constant attacks, Missourians who care about revitalizing their communities have fought to maintain the Historic Tax Credit," Schlichter said. "We have kept the credit’s cap at $140 million per year, producing $7.5 billion in direct economic development in Missouri and more than 40,000 jobs, as documented by the Missouri Growth Association. No other economic development program has come even close to this level of success."
The Missouri General Assembly's 2017 session begins Wednesday.