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Paul McKee Wins One Court Case — One to Go — on Northside Project

Kevin Killeen
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Developer Paul McKee (KMOX/file photo)

Developer Paul McKee (KMOX/file photo)

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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX) – A stalled plan to redevelop a large swath of north St. Louis gets a boost from the Missouri Supreme Court.

The high court rejected a challenge to a law that provided millions of dollars in state tax credits for the project.  At stake was some $28 million dollars given to developer Paul McKee.

McKee’s attorney, Paul Puricelli, says he is “very pleased” with the ruling, and it would have been “a very serious blow” to the project, if the court had ruled the other way.

Plaintiff’s attorney Irene J. Smith says she is disappointed by the ruling, but will not appeal to the U-S Supreme Court.

“We fought the good fight,” Smith said.

Smith had argued that the law violated the state constitution, because it “amounted to a grant for Paul McKee” for accumulating property. 

The court ruled that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to sue as taxpayers, because the tax credits are credits –  and not “expenditures of public money.” 

The ambitious project — which promises job centers, new homes, and green spaces — now hinges on a separate court case.   A lawsuit challenging the city of St. Louis tax increment financing for the project is in the hands of the Missouri Court of Appeals. 

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