by Michael R. Allen
Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton is the sponsor of HB 991, the Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Tax Credit Act. The bill is identical the Senate Committee Substitute section of the same name in SB 282 introduced Senator John Griesheimer (R-26th). The bill has been scheduled for a hearing by the House Special Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development. (SB 282 awaits a vote by the full Seanate.)
Read the full text here.
Recall that the Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Tax Credit Act creates a $100 million tax credit program for redevelopment projects of at least 75 acres in federally-certified distressed areas, administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The program was first proposed in February by Republican Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, who stated to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that sections of north St. Louis resembled Berlin after Word War II and needed such a credit for urgent revitalization. Both Kinder and Griesheimer have admitted that developer Paul J. McKee, Jr. wants to use the credit in conjunction with his controversial north St. Louis project commonly known by the name “Blairmont.”
As with the senate version, the credits are available to any applicant who is appointed redeveloper by a municipal authority or any applicant who has already incurred expenses and assembled parcels meeting the requirements of the bill. McKee almost definitely would qualify for the credits even if St. Louis city government does not appoint him redeveloper of the area in the St. Louis Place, Old North St. Louis and JeffVanderLou neighborhoods where he owns at least 637 parcels through holding companies. Also note that the tax credit application does not require any redevelopment plan beyond site assembly, meaning that even if a parcel remains vacant in ten years an applicant will be able to get the tax credit up front.
Among the co-sponsors of HB 991 is Representatives Rodney Hubbard (D-58th), whose district includes most of McKee’s holdings. Other city Representatives listed as co-sponsors are Thomas Villa (D-108th), Connie Johnson (D-61st), Robin Wright-Jones (D-63rd), Rachel Storch (D-64th), Fred Kratky (D-65th), and T.D. El-Amin (D-57th). Kratky and Hubbard are the only St. Louis representatives on the Special Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development.
Four city representatives are not co-sponsors: Jamilah Nasheed (D-60th), whose district includes the remainder of McKee’s holdings, Jeanette Mott-Oxford (D-59th), Mike Daus (D-67th) and Michael Vogt (D-66th).
Contact information for state representatives can be found here.