The last day of the legislative session is here, and news tends to progress quickly, but one of the fastest developing items is the state’s low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program. The governor apparently intends to restart the program, even without reform. While a charitable read is this is the governor’s way of leveraging the legislature into passing a bad bill, it is still galling.
The reason? It would break one of the first promises the governor made when he came into office. To quote the governor from just nine months ago (emphasis mine):
As a member of the Commission, I am committed to considering current federal tax credit applications, but until substantial reforms are enacted, state tax credits will not be issued.
The legislative session ends at 6 p.m., and the governor’s plans for the LIHTC should be clear shortly thereafter. If the legislature passes a bad bill and he signs it, it will have been a farce of a reform, but the onus of that failure will be shared with the legislature. Alternatively, if the governor does restart the program without legislative action, that’s a very, very different scenario.
The program is shuttered. If the program isn’t significantly reformed, it should remain shuttered. At one point, the governor would have found that uncontroversial, but here we are.