November 6, 2012

Through the TIF Looking Glass, In High Style

The Saint Louis city Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission recently approvedĀ $2.3 million in tax subsidies for a new Mercedes-Benz dealership in the city. The city board of alderman will take up the proposal for consideration soon, and judging by history over the past 20 years, they will almost certainly pass it. Think about this for a moment. That is $2.3 million of other people’s money going to a Mercedes dealership. In a very nice part of the city, no less.

I presume they declared the area “blighted.” Because the city does not post the TIF documents online, I am not certain of that (but it is highly likely). So, a piece of land just across the highway from the city’s crown jewel (Forest Park) is blighted. And because this not-really-blighted land is being called “blighted,” taxpayers get to subsidize it for more than $2 million. This is abject insanity. Talk about tax breaks for the rich . . .

A project of the

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