Missouri might soon be pushing its own program to stimulate the sagging housing market.
Sen. Tom Dempsey (R-St. Peters) inserted a provision in the jobs bill ( HB190 ) working its way through the legislature that would provide a $1,000 tax credit for home buyers.
"My interest is in looking at a way to try to spur some economic activity," says Dempsey. "The downturn in the housing industry and the devaluation of property was so sudden and so deep I think it caught a little people off guard. There are people struggling to stay afloat."
The Dempsey amendment would provide a $1,000 credit to anyone buying a house with a price tag at or below the county average. Dempsey says it is not designed to help those buying expensive homes. The credit would be capped at $4 million.
House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) supports the proposal. He says it fits with the idea behind the jobs bill.
"We think that’s going to translate into putting carpenters, electricians and brick-layers back to work," Richard says. "As near as I can tell, if we get people building and buying homes it transcends into everything else."
The jobs bill is a priority this session. The House took it up the first week of February and approved it. A Senate committee has made modifications and has sent it to the full Senate for debate with a recommendation that it be approved. It is waiting debate.