A review of the taxes the state does NOT collect suggests the system be tweaked but not significantly cut back. The state tax credit program allows some people to keep taxes they otherwise would pay and to spend the money for things such as economic development, housing for low-income Missourians, or preservation of historic sites. Last year the state did not collect 629-million dollars because of those programs, a big hole in a struggling state budget.
Former Senator Chuck Gross of St. Charles has helped lead a review commission recommending changes in tax credit programs. The commission recommends changes but no major savings. It does recommend some tax credits be evaluated on the basis of something other than dollar-for-dollar return on investment. The commission recommends social tax credit values be measured in terms of units of service provided. The commission recommends tools be developed that will better evaluate whether those programs meet the expectations they should.
State lawmakers have disagreed about scaling back various tax credit programs for several years. They’ll talk more about what to do next year.