ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – After all the phone calls, letters and trips to the Capitol, St. Louis developers are now celebrating that Missouri legislators did not get around to cutting historic tax credits.
“I can’t emphasize enough how much this grassroots effort has meant in terms of the result that we’ve now achieved,” says Jerry Schlichter, who wrote the original historic tax credits legislation in 1988.
He says the Senate’s proposal, which would have cut the credits by more than 50 percent, was much more severe than the House’s.
Schlichter says if cuts took place it would have made the hassle of renovating a building not worth it for developers.
“There is no way that developers and home-owners and others are going to get involved in caring, buying, and holding a building and paying insurance, taxes and maintenance and accountants fees and architects fees, if they may or may not get the credit that’s needed to make it work,” he says.
Supporters credit the program with creating 43,000 jobs and fueling $7 billion in private investments, as well as the make-over of downtown St. Louis.