Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon plans to reconvene a panel to further study a host of tax credits, hoping to push the legislature into making some changes to help stop the drain on the state budget.
This year, the state’s businesses and residents cashed in $629.3 million in tax credits in the 12 months ending June 30, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
. The figure marked a 15 percent increase over the previous year, amounting to one-twelfth of the state’s general tax revenue.
“Every dollar Missouri spends on economic incentives is a dollar we don’t have to invest in other critical priorities, such as education and public safety,” the Democratic governor said.
Nixon wants the 27-member Tax Credit Review Commission to examine and issue reports on every credit program so the government has better idea of which ones are providing the most benefit for the most people and at the same time helping to generate more economic development.
The Post-Dispatch noted the commission has recommended eliminating smaller credit programs before, but so far the legislature has failed to act.
Meanwhile, the bills for tax credits have kept growing. For example, low-income housing credits totaled $164.2 million last year, while tax write-offs for historic homes reached $134 million.
The commission will hold its first meeting on Sept. 12, with its first report due out by Thanksgiving, according to co-chair Steven Stogel.
The tax credit issue has become a hot-button issue in this year's election, pitting Nixon against Republican challenger David Spence. Both are pushing for reforms.
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