State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Union, says of the roughly $500 million in tax credits given away annually in Missouri, many are not going to those the credits are meant for. He says there’s a lot of waste, fraud and abuse in the state’s tax credit programs. One example, he says, is transferrable tax credits. Curtman opposes them because he says they can be sold by special interests for profit.
“If somebody has a $50 million tax credit but they only have a $20 million tax liability, well then they have a $30 million tax credit that’s left over. What they’ll do, is they’ll go and take that and sell it on a brokerage system to somebody else who wants tax credits. I just do not think that’s good public policy in our state or any government for that matter,” Curtman tells Columbia radio station KSSZ. “It creates broader gaps and holes in our general revenue.”
He also says the paper trail of Missouri’s tax credits has flaws.
“You’re wondering how in the world are some people getting tax credits when we don’t even necessarily know who they or how it is that they qualify for it because there’s no paperwork for it,” says Curtman.
He says Missouri can scale back on tax credits if there’s enough will power by the state legislature but he expects a clash with special interests that want to get their hands on them.
Governor Eric Greitens, R, told Missouri lawmakers in mid-January that almost $2 billion has been promised to special interests in tax credits since 2010. Greitens said “revenue is being drained by special interest tax credits and the faster-than-projected growth in health care expenditures, driven in part by the national impact of Obamacare.”