Thursday, March 31, 2016

St. Charles Republican: TIFs have failed their main purpose

(From Rep. Kurt Bahr, R-St. Charles)

The House passed HB1434 & 1600 to crack down on big businesses abuse of Tax Increment Financing (TIFs). TIFs permit the use of a portion of local property and sales taxes to assist funding the redevelopment of certain designated areas within your community. Areas eligible for Local TIF must contain property classified as a "Blighted", "Conservation" or an "Economic Development" area, or any combination thereof, as defined by Missouri Statutes.

In St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson & Boone counties we have county wide TIF commissions to give a regional view of these tax subsidies. This bill gives the commission more power to stop the abuse of businesses from playing one city off another in the same county to avoid paying local taxes. 

Currently if the TIF commission rejects a project then it goes back to the municipality that proposed it. The municipality can overrule the TIF commission’s recommendation by 2/3 vote.

This bill changes the recoverable cost if the TIF commission rejects a TIF project to the: Demolition of a building and clearing/grading of the land. (the cost of new buildings, property assembly, financing, ect will not be reimbursed.) 

According to the East-West Gateway report on TIF. For the past 20 years local governments in the metropolitan St. Louis region have diverted more than $5.8B in public tax dollars used to subsidize private development. St. Louis Region have created retail jobs at the rate of 1 new position at a cost of $370,000 in taxpayer subsidies. 
TIF Facts

TIF was originally intended to be used in a blighted area however TIF in the St. Louis Region has been used extensively in wealthier municipalities:

In the State of Missouri local governments use TIF more than 47 states other states. 

Abuse of eminent domain which should only be used for public use not private
Taxpayers are now the risk takers, not private enterprise

Bureaucrats and government are now micro-managing business locations

Taxpayer subsidies are now the standard in retail development

Municipalities are pitted against each other (fight over retail space).

The East-West Gateway in it’s report on TIF and other economic incentives for the

TIF’s have failed their main purpose of economic growth and job creation.


Anonymous said...

Seems to be doing what they're supposed to in Joplin.

Anonymous said...

Mission Accomplished!

Anonymous said...

TIFs are a joke and the joke is on the taxpayer. It would be nice if we all could write a check for the taxes on our new house and get a check in the mail from the city for the same amount back. The TIFs in Joplin have done very little. Target, and Kohls would have built here anyway. Academy Sports would have likely come to Joplin anyway. The tornado TIF has done nothing and that is being supported by 8,000 residential properties which is otherwise unheard of. By a literal reading of the current statutes, the tornado TIF is simply illegal. It did accomplish giving our former Master Developer hope of having his hands on 58,000,000 dollars which was his whole plan. Fortunately the bonding companies refused to authorize issueing such a huge amount and allowed only a paltry 13,000,000 which was spent buying up a bunch of vacant land at drastically overpriced amounts that for the most part nobody wants. We now have two additional TIFS. One on South Main, boy they are really going to town on that one. The other just south of I44 where Furniture Row is now empty.