David Stokes
A Community Improvement District (CID) proposal in Nixa, Mo., which had been lying dormant for a few months, resurfaced at a city council meeting this week. That is unfortunate. At the very least, the Nixa City Council should reject the proposed board of directors for the new district, which has three of the five members from the same family (see page 3 of this file). That is not the way to operate public dollars, unless you want to make Nixa, Mo., more like Sauget, Ill.

I also hope city officials will require the businesses to post notification of the extra sales tax at the front door and the check-outs, so that shoppers can make an informed choice. (The state legislature needs to correct the mistake that applies notification rules only to TDDs and not to CIDs.)

Nixa is a very nice town and does not need to start playing the game of subsidizing private businesses with tax dollars. If they choose to start playing it anyway, I hope they make several of these improvements to the proposal. Nixa has some dedicated activists who have brought this matter to our attention, and I wish them the best in fighting this proposal in their community. Just like the proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in Columbia, the worst part of this CID is the path on which it puts Nixa. Once you approve one of these types of programs, every development in the city is going to demand one. There is no end to the game until you have hollowed out your property tax base.

About the Author

David Stokes
David Stokes was a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute from 2007 to 2014 and was director of development from 2014 to 2016.