In theory, establishing a TIF district involves serious and impartial deliberation and calculus. A city intends to revitalize a part of its community, but first it must go through a complicated process designed to test whether certain tax incentives are allowed. The city contracts with urban planners who independently determine if the proposal could happen “but for” the taxpayer assistance, and also if the area meets the standards for a designation of “blight,” or “conservation” (or another appropriate designation), making it eligible for subsidies. A developer is then brought into the process and, with the assistance of the government and the taxpayers, produces an economic growth engine that provides jobs, a revitalized community, and (eventually) an expanded tax base.

About the Author

David Stokes

David Stokes is the director of development at the Show-Me Institute.