GOP cites concerns over Mo. housing agency leader

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The chairman of Missouri's housing development agency has been receiving tax credits for a home in Arkansas, adding to concerns raised by some Republicans about whether it's appropriate for him to be serving on the Missouri board.

Property records show that Jeffrey Bay and his wife own a home in Rogers, Ark., for which they received a Homestead Tax Credit, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday. Under Arkansas law, the $350 property tax credit can only be claimed on a person's primary residence.

Bay told the newspaper that his wife lives at the Arkansas home, and he travels there regularly. But Bay said he lives at an apartment in the Kansas City suburb of Gladstone.

That Gladstone residence also has been a source of controversy, because Bay had been serving on the board of alderman in Parkville. Bay resigned in April from the Parkville board as Kansas City television station KSHB was reporting on his residency change.

After selling his Parkville home last July, Bay said he initially rented a room from a friend in that city but eventually moved into an apartment building he already owned in Gladstone. He listed the Gladstone address on paperwork filed with the Platte County Recorder's Office last September. Yet in February, Bay still listed the Parkville home as his mailing address on a personal financial disclosure form filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission as part of his role on the state housing commission. Bay said he listed that address by mistake.

The Missouri Republican Party and GOP Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder both have questioned whether Bay should remain as chairman of the Missouri Housing Development Commission, which provides financial incentives to affordable housing developments. Bay was appointed chairman of the board by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in May 2010.

"The Republican Party calls on Jeffrey Bay to do the right thing and resign as chairman of the MHDC," Lloyd Smith, executive director of the state GOP, said Friday.

Bay contends he is being used by Republicans to score political points against Nixon.

Missouri residency is not a requirement to serve on the MHDC. But in practice, only Missouri residents have been appointed to the commission, said Tina Beer, director of operations for the housing agency.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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