Some affordable housing projects in the city of Columbia may now be in jeopardy.
The Missouri Housing Development Commission voted against issuing low-income housing state tax credits at its meeting Friday morning.
The proposal to amend Missouri's qualified allocation plan was introduced by former state Sen. Jason Crowell. He was appointed to the commission in September by Gov. Eric Greitens.
The amendment prevents the state from matching some $140 million in federal low-income housing tax credits.
"What I would encourage the commissioners to do is vote yes on my amendment. That amendment will allow for federal tax credits to go forward, and it will also allow for the opportunity in the Legislature for the debate of reform to move on," Crowell said.
Six people, including Greitens and Attorney General Josh Hawley, voted in favor of Crowell's amendment. Two people--Lt.Gov. Mike Parsons and State Treasurer Eric Schmitt--voted against it.
Parsons argued that the commission does not have the authority to make such a big change.
"Legislation gave the commission approval to oversee tax credits, it never gave the committee the ability to do away with them," he said.
"If you want to reform then let's reform, but trying to get this done without the legislature, without the people of Missouri having their voice heard is wrong," he added, noting, "Our authority was never to do away with the program, it was to manage it."
Sen. Jamilah Nasheed also spoke out against the amendment.
"The last thing we need to do is to go after the seniors, disabled, veterans. This is an attack on their quality of life," Nasheed said.
Gov. Greitens issued a statement after the vote calling the low-income housing tax credit "a failing program."
"For every dollar that went into the program, only about 42 to 55 cents actually went to building housing for poor people. That's a bad deal any way you cut it," the statement said. "Today, they held a meeting about this program to figure out how much of your money to spend next year. We took action. We zeroed out this failing program and saved tens of millions of dollars. No. More. Giveaways."
He also said the commission's actions "saved tens of millions of dollars."