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KC leaders worried after MO governor votes to end tax credits for low-income housing

Posted at 7:23 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 23:19:34-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Housing Development Commission voted Friday to stop issuing low-income housing tax credits this year, a program used in Kansas City and all across the state. 

The program is one of the state’s largest tax credits awarded to developers, which helps offset a percentage of tax liabilities to build low-income housing. 

Gov. Eric Greitens cast the key vote Friday, calling the program inefficient. 

“We zeroed out this failing program and saved tens of millions of dollars,” he said in a statement. “No more giveaways.” 

While a final vote is still needed, supporters of the program fear it could stop redevelopment in the urban core. 

Margaret May is among those worried. She’s the president of Kansas City’s Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council. 

“There’s a real need for housing and particularly lower-income people,” she told 41 Action News. “People are charging $700, $800 a month in this neighborhood but we are trying to provide some housing for lower-income people.” 

The neighborhood group used state tax credits to build a dozen one-story apartments near 39th Street and Euclid. All of the apartments were all rented within two weeks and remain occupied. 

May said the group planned on applying for and using the credits to build another complex low-income housing complex a couple yards away but won’t be able to do so without the credits. 

“Now it’s trying to find an investor,” she said. 

In June, state auditor Nicole Galloway issued a report, calling for stricter oversight of the program. She estimated it has cost the state $5.4 billion over the last decade.