On Wednesday April 10th nearly 40 advocates–city administrators, preservationists, architects, small-scale developers, and regular folks–showed up in Jefferson City to urge Missouri legislators to preserve the historic tax credit as it currently exists. Liberty, Kansas City, Odessa, Washington, and St. Louis were among the communities represented
in this state-wide coalition of citizens. After a briefing and legislative update by Alliance for Investment, Jobs, and Preservation (AIJP) lobbyist Jim Farrell, and visits by Speaker Tim Jones and Senator Jamilah Nasheed, two of the Capitol’s best advocates for the historic tax credit, team #SaveMOHTC set out to deliver district-specific packets to each legislator.
All legislative offices were reached (yes, all 34 Senators and 163 Representatives!) in the effort to emphasize that the historic tax credit has created 43,000 jobs, $7 billion in direct private investment, and generates new revenue to the state . . . offering an incredible return to Missouri tax payers that outshines the large grouping of tax credit programs targeted right now in the attempt of tax credit reform. Some legislators shared our support and promised to advocate for the preservation of the program, while others disagreed. Many legislators, still new to their elected position, knew little about the program and the issue surrounding it. In all cases–to recognize advocacy, to challenge opposition, and to educate–the trip to Jefferson City was an extremely important step in demonstrating that the historic tax credit should stand on its own exemplary merits and that there is no economic justification to reduce it.
Missouri Preservation, the AIJP, and Space Design and Architects were among the entities involved in realizing this day of advocacy in Jefferson City. Space rented a bus not simply to get to and from their home of St. Louis, but also to interact with other advocates on the way to Jeff City in towns like Washington, New Haven, and Hermann, which have all utilized the historic tax credit and consider their historic buildings as essential community assets. Please take a look at their activity at http://spacestl.wordpress.com/. Space is hosting another Call Party to continue the trip’s momentum on Wednesday April 17th, 3:30-6:00 pm at their studio at 4168 Manchester Ave. Be counted in their goal of 50 attendees. Or, if you live elsewhere in the state, consider hosting your own call party to contribute to this urgent need to contact legislators to preserve the historic tax credit.
As a side note, Twitter has been a big hub in the campaign to spread awareness about the value and continued use of the historic tax credit. Join the conversation using the hashtags #SaveMOHTC and #MOHTC.