Auditor says improvements needed in controversial tax credits program

State Auditor Tom Schweich said today the controversial low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) program has helped provide thousands of affordable housing units for low income Missourians, but the program still could be improved.

In an audit released this morning, Schweich noted only 42 cents of every tax credit dollar actually pays for construction, while the rest of the money foes to investors, syndication firms and the federal government, through increased federal taxes.

The audit suggests that could be improved by converting to a "certificated" credit model, which might be able to eliminate the federal taxes; making the tax credits refundable; and using a direct appropriation from state revenues for the housing construction program.

The auditor also suggested requiring the credits to sunset, so that lawmakers could reveiew them periodically.

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