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The 2007 Legislative Session ended on May 18, 2007. The Historic Tax Credit survived the session, but not without a number of close calls. For example, Senator Lager (R-Maryville) proposed an amendment to sunset all tax credit programs, which would have been a direct hit to the Historic Tax Credit and Rebuilding Communities Credit. This amendment initially slipped through the House and could have been enacted had it not been for the watchful eyes of our lobbyist. As we all know, a sunset on the Historic Tax Credit would destroy this successful economic development tool.

The 2007 Legislative Session ended on May 18, 2007. The Historic Tax Credit survived the session, but not without a number of close calls. For example, Senator Lager (R-Maryville) proposed an amendment to sunset all tax credit programs, which would have been a direct hit to the Historic Tax Credit and Rebuilding Communities Credit. This amendment initially slipped through the House and could have been enacted had it not been for the watchful eyes of our lobbyist. As we all know, a sunset on the Historic Tax Credit would destroy this successful economic development tool.

These types of threats to sunset the historic tax credit program will continue next session –so we need your help!

2007 Legislative Wrap Up
The last weeks of the session were very chaotic and showed how important it is to be prepared to take action in a matter of minutes. It also showed how important it is to have a full-time lobbyist and staff person and a broad coalition of people advocating for the Missouri Historic Tax Credit.

Our coalition’s continued success is due to the efforts over the past nine years of dozens of people and organizations, including, realtors, preservationists, civic organizations, and people who care about their communities across the state. They have given, and continue to give their time, funds and energy to ensure that the legislature understands the importance of the credit. Thank you to everyone for taking quick action this past session. Thanks to Jennifer Olmstead, our staff person, and Jim Farrell our lobbyist and to the many people and organizations across the state that wrote letters, made phone calls and sent emails. You made a difference.

During the last two weeks of the session, Senator Lager (R-Maryville) attempted to sell the idea that every tax credit should have to be reviewed and justified to continue. He put forth an amendment to Senate Bill 86, which would have put a sunset on all tax programs as of December 31, 2011. Because it was an amendment and not an actual bill, there was no information available to people outside of Jefferson City and this was very much under the radar. Working with a small group of lobbyists and Senators supportive of the Historic Tax Credit and the Rebuilding Communities Credit, we were successful in defeating this bill.

The 2007 Legislative Session gave us insights on the challenges that lie ahead next session starting January 3, 2008. In addition to a push for a sunset on all tax credit programs, we have been warned by legislative leadership that Representative Brian Stevenson, Chairman, Tax Reform Committee wants to make some definite changes in the overall direction of tax policy. As you may recall, the Wall Street Journal singled out Missouri in a January 25, 2007 article as one of the states that was looking at eliminating the state’s income tax. There will likely be a big push for this during the next legislative session.

We will need to raise money once again for both grassroots work and lobbying to avoid disastrous changes in the legislature, and will be in touch with you in the fall, as we will be starting our fundraising efforts early this year since we have no carry over funds available. In addition, this fall, the Historic Tax Credit program will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary and we will be celebrating this with a series of events across the state.

We look forward to your continued support to keep this program in place to help rebuild our city and state. We’ve come too far to lose what is our most effective tool for revitalizing our communities

For more information, you can contact Jennifer Olmstead at jolmstead@savehistorictaxcredit.org.