Missouri’s historic tax credit has once again attracted the budget-cutting attention of legislators who are generally unfamiliar with its importance to St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and other parts of the state in which historic buildings still stand.
Their attention is misplaced.
The state historic tax credit has been responsible for more than $1.8 billion in rehabilitation construction in the City of St. Louis alone since the Missouri legislature adopted the necessary legislation. This is very significant: $1.8 billion in construction represents nearly 30,000,000 hours of direct construction worker employment, and more than 110,000,000 hours of employment in total, if the multiplier effects of this construction work are taken into account.
Without the state historic tax credit, many City neighborhoods and business districts would have continued to deteriorate, resulting in a continuing exodus of jobs and people. Instead, the historic tax credit made rehabilitation of hundreds of vacant homes, single-family and multi-family, possible. And this rehab work created a market that supported the new construction of homes to fill gaps left by previous demolitions.