Depressing News From Ellisville
The vote of the five members of the Ellisville City Council in favor of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is just atrocious. You had to be there to feel how passionately opposed to the TIF the strong majority of people were during the public forum. Later, you could sense how angry they were after the vote. I was there, and I certainly felt it. The residents had every right to be livid.
I do not recall ever seeing such a brazen example of an elected body ignoring the will of the people. Combined with the terrible economic policy they are now instituting, the choice of the Ellisville City Council to enact this TIF is one of the worst decisions I have ever seen a government make.
Now more than ever, we need the state legislature to pass major TIF reform for Saint Louis County and all of Missouri. The ability of cities to override a county TIF commission must be removed. Furthermore, TIF districts should be required to make other taxing districts whole through alternate tax dollar arrangements. In other words, cities should share the sales tax dollars placed into the PILOT (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes) fund.
We still have many more TIFs to fight in Shrewsbury, Saint Ann, and Richmond Heights; and that is just Saint Louis County. Add in the Enhanced Enterprise Zone (EEZ) in Columbia, the Transportation Development District (TDD)/Community Improvement District (CID) in Chesterfield, the incessant use of subsidies for every project in Kansas City and Saint Louis, and I can assure you we will be very busy. When it comes to pointing out the economic flaws in the terrible arguments for local development subsidies, the Show-Me Institute has only just begun to fight.
Now I am going to get some lunch. (Go to the 2:04 mark.)