The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry testified in favor of two tax credits that can be economic drivers for downtown and historic preservation projects.
Both bills were introduced this week by Rep. Travis Wilson (R-St. Charles) in the House Economic Development Committee.
HB 1936 makes some adjustments to a successful Historic Preservation tax credit program that has been in place since 1998. It renames the credit the Missouri Historic, Rural Revitalization and Regulatory Streamlining Act.
“The reason it is really important is it enables developers to be able to work in specific spaces, often buildings that are 100 or more years old,” Rep. Wilson explained. “This streamlines the regulations and creates an easier process for developers and entrepreneurs to thrive using this credit.”
Projects are eligible for a 25% tax credit reimbursement based on the amount invested. The legislation would also allow a 35% credit if the project is in a qualifying county (primarily rural areas or smaller cities).
Heidi Geisbuhler Sutherland, legislative director for the Missouri Chamber, emphasized the certainty in simplifying the regulations. “It’s an economic tool in both urban and rural areas, driving people into communities. Getting a timeline established will allow developers to know when they will have an answer on tax credit approval.”
Similar legislation passed the House 117-5 in 2023 before being caught in the Senate meltdown at the end of the session.
HB 1935 is a new program that creates the Revitalizing Missouri Downtowns and Main Streets Act. It is a result of the pandemic that left many office buildings vacant or sparsely occupied.
“This would help turn these sort of office spaces into living spaces or retail on the lower floors,” Rep. Wilson outlined. He noted that the bill seeks an appropriation of $50 million with another $50 million for projects in excess of 750,000 square feet. Of the available funding, 25% would be dedicated to projects located in a qualified Main Street district.
Geisbuhler Sutherland stressed the credit’s importance as an economic driver, testifying that “people don’t want to walk around and spend their money in a vacant area.”
For more information, contact Geisbuhler Sutherland at email@example.com or 573-634-3511.